Our client had a 7-month-old baby and was three months pregnant with her second child when her husband died from complications of an undiagnosed Dengue fever.
The fever was the result of a mosquito bite in the Dominican Republic. Two days after returning from that country, our client’s husband, a 31-year-old diabetic, went to the emergency room of a hospital complaining of fever, vomiting, body aches, a sore throat and abdominal pain.
He was discharged the same day with instructions to return if he experienced symptoms of shaking, chills, dyspnea, or neck stiffness. Two days later, he returned to the same emergency department. His symptoms had worsened, and he was now coughing up blood.
Though he was coughing blood and tests revealed a critically low platelet count (a count that had decreased dramatically from two days earlier), our client’s husband remained in the emergency department for six hours without receiving necessary treatment, including platelet replacement therapy.
Even when he was admitted to a medical floor, the hospital did not have a plan to treat this problem. That was in spite of the fact that the resident physician who admitted him had documented the low platelet count and had been informed of the trip to the Dominican Republic.
Nearly 13 hours later, our client’s husband went into cardiac arrest. It was not until after he coded that the necessary platelet replacement therapy was ordered. Decedent coded three more times. Doctors were not able to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead the next day.
Our infectious disease expert opined that the hospital and the doctors responsible for decedent’s care departed from good and accepted medical practice by failing to treat our client’s husband in a timely manner with platelet replacement therapy and fresh frozen plasma or clotting factors.
The case settled on the eve of trial for $4,500,000.