Nasty Infection Leads To Wrongful Death At Sacramento Hospital, Part 4 of 8

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death lawsuit and its proceedings.)

According to the autopsy report of the County Coroner, the cause of death was sepsis (overwhelming infection). The Decedent died on January 3, 2009, at 8:30 a.m.

The misplaced Foley catheter balloon contributed to the sepsis in two ways: First, infected urine that cannot drain, backs up into the kidneys under pressure leading to seeding of bacteria into the blood stream and leads to rapid overwhelming infection. Second, the infection of the urine accompanied by urethral damage led to periurethral abscess formation and ultimately gangrene of the scrotum and perineum.

On December 29, 2008, the Decedent’s white blood cell count had jumped from 8.1 to 13.2 on December 30, 2008, and jumped to 19.2 on December 31, 2008, the day the fevers started.
Based upon the symptoms and signs the Decedent exhibited, the appropriate treatment of the Decedent was: immediate initiation of broad spectrum antibiotics and surgical debridement.

On December 31, 2008, the Decedent had multiple signs of sepsis. He had rapid increase in temperature, dramatic increase in white blood cell count, persistent tachycardia (rapid heart beat), and increasing agitation. These are telltale signs of sepsis.

Two days (48 hours) elapsed from the time the Decedent initially began spiking fevers to the time antibiotics were started.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

On a critically ill, immunocompromised (alcoholic), patient such as the Decedent, the standard of care would be to pan culture and start broad-spectrum antibiotics at the onset of fever. This treatment was delayed 48 hours and contributed to his death. The medical personnel, including the physicians and surgeons, who cared for and treated the Decedent failed to meet the standard of care which requires immediate action without first determining the source of the infection or its cause.

On New Year’s Eve or on January 1, 2009, Plaintiff and Mary Smith, Plaintiff’s girlfriend, visited the Decedent at National Hospital. During their visit, the Decedent was hollering: “these people are killing me,” and they “had the decatheter shoved up too far.”

Plaintiff spoke to a nurse about the Decedent’s complaints. The nurse did not do anything. She directed Plaintiff and Ms. Smith to leave the room.

Plaintiff’s medical expert, Robert Woo, M.D., FACEP, is an experienced Emergency Medical Specialist. The Decedent was the type of patient whose care and treatment during his hospital stay is typically provided by specialists in emergency medicine. (See Part 5 of 8.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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