Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Curtis and Jay Yasso secured a $2.5 million settlement in a case alleging emergency room malpractice. The plaintiff , then 33 years old, presented to the Defendant ER in moderate to severe respiratory distress, with a heart rate of 197 beats per minute. He complained of difficulty breathing with a cough that started two days before, and gave a history of atrial fibrillation, asthma, and pneumonia. An initial EKG demonstrated that the patient was experiencing atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. His heart rate continued to remain dangerously elevated, yet the Defendant ER doctor failed to consult a cardiologist, pulmonologist, hospitalist, or intensivist, nor did she perform cardioversion that could have restored normal sinus rhythm. The patient’s heart began to decompensate with left ventricular dysfunction, and fluid began to fill his lungs. As his breathing difficulties worsened, he pleaded for help, but the Defendant doctor failed to provide any ventilatory support such as BiPAP or intubation. He ultimately went into a full cardiopulmonary arrest, from which he was finally resuscitated after 14 minutes of CPR, during which time he suffered significant hypoxic ischemic injury to his brain. As a result, he can no longer ambulate or move any area of his trunk, can only speak in simple words, and is blind in both eyes. He is permanently confined to a wheelchair or hospital bed and requires round-the-clock nursing care.
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