Medical Malpractice Verdicts
A 51 year-old single woman who had a heart transplant on March 7, 2000, because of the defendants’ negligent failure to evaluate, diagnose and treat developing congestive heart failure and ischemic cardiomyopathy. Before entering the hospital on February 10, 2000 near death in cardiogenic shock, the woman had been seen 12 times in the preceding nine months at local health center for persistent and progressive breathing problems. Her chest x-rays from three separate dates (December 22, 1999, January 28, 2000 and February 7, 2000) clearly showed an abnormally enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) and pulmonary edema. During her hospitalization, the woman experienced at least two cardiac arrests and was clinically dead, but was saved by aggressive cardiopulmonary resuscitation. She was urgently treated in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and she was kept alive with an intra-aortic balloon pump.
She was transferred to a local hospital in critical condition on February 11, 2000. She remained critical in the Intensive Care Unit at the local hospital for four weeks. Cardiac stents were placed and she awaited a donor heart because she could not live without a new heart. The woman’s heart transplant was accomplished on March 7, 2000, by a cardio-thoracic surgeon.