Painter Law Firm files suit for family against Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital
Nursing staff fails to act when hip fracture patient shows clear signs of a dangerous embolism
Painter Law Firm filed a lawsuit in Houston, Texas against Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, on behalf of the family of Irene Dixon.
In March 2010, Mrs. Dixon was a 78 year old lady who tripped at church and broke her hip. An ambulance took her to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and doctors planned for a hip surgery.
Before that happened, though, she started acting confused and had a change in mental status. Her son was with his mother at the hospital and reported it to the nurse on multiple occasions. The nurse did not get a doctor to come and see Mrs. Dixon and within a few short hours she passed away.
This case shows the deadly danger of a blood clot (embolism)forming when a bone is broken. The blood clot can get loose and move in the blood stream, and then lodge in the heart where it can cause a blockage and death.
It also shows that any time a patient is in the hospital it is an excellent idea to have a family member with him or her at all times. Family members know when their loved one is acting differently and can tell a nurse or a doctor. A change in mental status is one of the earliest indicators that something is wrong.
Mrs. Dixon's son did his part and told the nurse. If Mrs. Dixon's nurse had fulfilled her responsibility and gotten a doctor to come and evaluate Mrs. Dixon, her sad death could have been avoided through clot-busting medications or an emergency surgery to remove the clot.
Robert Painter is an attorney and member of Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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