Two Maryland hospitals, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, have been sued for their alleged negligent failures to timely and properly diagnose and treat a woman’s liver disease during her pregnancy, thereby leading to permanent brain damage and her current vegetative state. The gravely injured woman, who uses a ventilator to breath, has required around-the-clock nursing care for more than two years due to her irreversible brain injury, according to the Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed in court on August 18, 2014 by her husband, on their behalf.
The 33-year-old woman, who has two elementary school-aged children, went to the defendant community hospital located in Baltimore County, Maryland, in August 2012, when she was 12-weeks pregnant with her third child. She sought medical treatment for severe nausea and vomiting, which had caused her to lose 14 pounds during the early part of her pregnancy. She was treated for dehydration and malnutrition but was not given vitamins intravenously, according to the Maryland malpractice claim. On the evening of the day she sought treatment in the hospital emergency room, she complained of a heartburn-like feeling and she was admitted as an inpatient.
It was not until the second day after admission that the woman was diagnosed with extreme and serious morning sickness. Her medical negligence claim contends that her symptoms at that time should have revealed that she had liver dysfunction but the hospital failed to properly diagnose and treat her condition. Two days later, the hospital staff noted signs of liver dysfunction but she was not further tested, according to the medical malpractice allegations.
The woman suffered a miscarriage that same day. A D&C was not performed and part of the placenta may have been left behind (which was not removed until she was subsequently transferred to The Johns Hopkins Hospital).
The following day, the woman complained of ear problems and tingling in her left thigh, which could have been signs of hepatic encephalopathy, but her physicians allegedly did not consider her condition to be an emergency situation. That evening, the woman complained that she was having vision problems, that she was unable to focus her attention, and that her tingling and numbness were progressing.
The following day, the woman experienced a fall after which she told her physicians that she was having vision and hearing problems as well as feeling numbness over her entire body. The community hospital physicians consulted with physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (“Hopkins”), and they agreed that the woman would be transferred to Hopkins once a bed in the neurological ICU became available. However, the Hopkins’ physicians did not recommend further medical testing to the community hospital’s physicians, prior to transfer, according to the Maryland malpractice lawsuit.
Shortly after midnight, the woman was transferred and admitted to Hopkins, where a liver biopsy and emergency procedures were undertaken to address her failing liver. Despite such efforts that restored her liver function, the woman suffered a catastrophic brain injury that is irreversible, The Maryland medical malpractice case was filed against both hospitals and numerous physicians, seeking compensatory damages in the amount of $28 million.
Source: The Daily Record, August 21, 2014. McVay, et al. v. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, et al. Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No. 24-C-14004802.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries, or worse, as a result of medical malpractice at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, or in another hospital in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state) who may investigate your hospital negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim against a hospital, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in Baltimore or in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.