The parents of a 19-year-old who died from an aortic dissection filed a Maryland medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Baltimore on March 20, 2020 against a hospital located in Western Maryland and a physician and a physician’s assistant working in the hospital’s emergency room, claiming that their son’s death on July 31, 2017 was due to medical negligence.
The parents allege in their Maryland medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit that their son was born with a heart defect that had been surgically repaired when he was a child and he had been under the care of a cardiologist, which the defendant hospital knew about because their son had been to the defendant hospital on prior occasions and his medical history was therefore known and accessible by the hospital’s medical staff. Their son’s preexisting heart condition increased his risk for an aortic dissection (a serious and potentially fatal condition in which the inner layer of the aorta tears and blood flows through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate).
On July 24, 2017, the teenager went to the emergency room of the defendant hospital with complaints of severe chest pain that spread into his neck, arm, and abdomen. While an aortic dissection is uncommon, and especially rare in someone who is 19-years-old, the typical signs and symptoms of an aortic dissection include: sudden severe chest or upper back pain, often described as a tearing, ripping or shearing sensation, that radiates to the neck or down the back; sudden severe abdominal pain; loss of consciousness; shortness of breath; sudden difficulty speaking, loss of vision, weakness or paralysis of one side of the body, similar to those of a stroke; weak pulse in one arm or thigh compared with the other; leg pain; difficulty walking; and, leg paralysis (source).
The parents allege in their Maryland medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit that the defendant physician and defendant physician’s assistant who treated their son in the emergency room were aware of their son’s medical history yet negligently failed to order a diagnostic CT scan and discharged him with pain medications after other medical tests were completed. The discharge instructions advised that their son should return to the emergency room if his pain worsened.
In the ensuing days, the teenager’s pain did not resolve but the pain did not get worse either. On July 31, 2017, the father discovered that his son had died in his sleep. It was determined that the teenager had died from an aortic aneurysm.
The parents’ Maryland medical malpractice lawyer stated after the lawsuit was filed in federal court, “It’s all it would have taken was a CT scan that would have shown this weakness in his aortic wall and he would have been in surgery, very promptly. It’s very difficult for any parent to lose their child. Parents always think that nothing’s going to happen to their children.”
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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