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Name of Case/County: Anonymous v. Anonymous
This is a medical malpractice claim arising from the defendants’ failure to properly assess and diagnose the plaintiff’s small bowel obstruction resulting in the untimely and avoidable death of a sixty-five year old mother of two. Suit was brought against the defendant emergency room physician as well as the emergency physician group through which he was employed, a local hospital, a primary care physician, and a local clinic where the primary care physician practiced.
The decedent plaintiff developed abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea on a Sunday. She was transported via ambulance to a local hospital where tests were ordered and abdominal x-rays were interpreted by a radiologist at the hospital. The decedent plaintiff was discharged home that same day with a diagnosis of gastric distention secondary to air swallowing and hypokalemia secondary to diuretics. The defendant emergency physician, among other things, failed to ensure that significant information was communicated to the plaintiff and/or her medical care providers, including her primary care physician. The defendant also failed to ensure that the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for evaluation and treatment; and otherwise failed to ensure the safety of his patient. On Monday, the decedent followed up with the defendant primary care physician for treatment of her continued abdominal pain. After taking a verbal history and conducting a brief examination, she was diagnosed with food poisoning and given prescriptions for Demerol and Phenergan. The defendant primary care physician failed to properly assess and diagnose the decedent’s condition; failed to obtain and review the records from the decedent’s emergency department visit; failed to examine the patient; failed to order necessary and appropriate diagnostic tests; failed to consult with appropriate specialists; failed to order necessary and appropriate medications; and otherwise failed to ensure the safety of his patient. As a result, on Friday, the plaintiff was found deceased at her residence and it was later determined by autopsy that she had actually passed on the preceding Wednesday. The defendants' failure to properly assess and diagnose the plaintiff’s condition resulted in the decedent plaintiff’s bowel obstruction being undiagnosed and untreated, causing her to suffer extreme physical pain, emotional distress, and ultimately causing her premature death.
Injuries: The plaintiff’s small bowel obstruction went undiagnosed and untreated and resulted in her death. The decedent suffered extreme physical pain and emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life and her estate incurred medical and funeral expenses.
Verdict/Settlement: The parties reached a settlement for a confidential amount before trial but after suit was filed.
Kevin F. Dugan, Esq.
Eva H. Bleich, Esq.
Abramson, Brown & Dugan, PA
1819 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03104