This past month, a Philadelphia jury found the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania 65% liable for a patient’s brain hemorrhage. Her attending doctor was found 35% personally liable. The victim will receive $44.1 million as a result of both parties having failed to recognize the woman’s adverse reaction to anti-coagulant medication, leading to a brain hemorrhage.
The victim’s attorney argued that the hospital staff failed to recognize a change in the patient’s blood after she was given Heparin, an anti-coagulant drug used in her treatment after brain surgery. The attorney’s case claims that these changes should have been red flags for a high risk of brain hemorrhage. While the patient’s blood continued to show a rise in coagulation, the hospital and those involved did not take her off of Heparin; instead, they stopped testing.
Days later, the woman suffered a massive bleed in her head and was left in a comatose state. This hemorrhage resulted in a catastrophic brain injury; leaving the patient unable to care for herself.
Both the hospital, and attending critical care doctor challenge that the dose of Heparin was proper and that the hemorrhage was a result of complications from the patient’s previous brain surgery, not from the drug.
According to a hospital memo, the patient developed a fever when recovering from her surgery and was then diagnosed with meningitis and ventriculitis.
After a 13-day trial, the jury rendered a verdict that the brain damage injuries were the fault of the hospital and attending doctor’s care, awarding the patient with $44 million in damages.
Source: The Legal Intelligencer