(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse/medical malpractice case and its proceedings.)
The dialysis concluded at 5:42. Mr. Reed initially got a BP of 90/21, but checked it again and it was 90/37. A total of 1.9 liters of fluid had been removed during dialysis. While plaintiff’s dialysis was completed at 5:42, she was not transported back to her room on the fifth floor until after 7:00 p.m. During the wait, however, she remained on a monitored bed in the dialysis unit with the blood pressure and heart rate monitors attached. Both of these monitors have alarms that will go off if the values drop below acceptable limits. The undisputed evidence is that the monitor alarms did not go off while plaintiff was awaiting transport.
According to the nursing notes, plaintiff returned to her room at 7:20. Her nurse was Jean King, also an ACES replacement nurse. Upon arrival her BP was 121/44, and her HR was 105. She also had a respiratory rate of 28. The nurse assigned to plaintiff was just coming on shift. She was concerned about plaintiff’s appearance, and asked the charge nurse to evaluate her. Supplemental oxygen was given, and over the next 30 minutes her vitals signs were monitored.
Her condition started to worsen, and then she suddenly experienced a respiratory arrest. A code blue was called, and by the time the responding physician arrived she had no pulse or spontaneous respirations. She was receiving CPR, and being ventilated by the nurses. As he assessed her, however, she suddenly had a spontaneous return of her heart rate. His evaluation of her airway revealed the presence of gastric contents, suggesting an aspiration.
Because her neurologic status was poor, the physician decided to intubate her to protect her airway. She was then transferred to the ICU. Over the next couple of days she remained intubated and on the ventilator, with no meaningful responses to stimuli. A new stroke was suspected, and on October 15, 2006 she had a repeat CT of the brain. This revealed a fresh embolic stroke in the circulation of the posterior middle cerebral artery.
Since October 10, 2006, plaintiff has been in a persistent vegetative state. There is zero chance of any recovery, and yet the family continues to insist that she be given full life support, and she is also a full code. (See Part 5 of 11.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.