When a routine procedure kills you

PUBLISHED 20 Jul 2020

We recently were able to negotiate a settlement for a client after the death of a family member following a routine procedure at a major teaching Hospital.

The Patient was diagnosed with Leukaemia and began chemotherapy treatment at a Hospital in NSW. Later that year a bone marrow transplant was performed and due to complications arising from the transplant, the patient was again admitted to Hospital with a fever and after a few months was initially diagnosed with Febrile Neutropenia.

A routine CT Pulmonary Angiogram was performed which demonstrated an upper lobe wedge shaped mass in her left lung. After extensive investigations the doctors decided to perform a CT Guided Lung Biopsy to determine what the mass was.

Upon waking from sedation following the procedure the patient started to cough blood. This worsened and she began to deteriorate. Unfortunately, she was unresponsive and had no pulse. A few days later a provisional diagnosis of hypoxic brain injury was made and she was declared brain dead. Two days later the patient passed away.

Due to the catastrophic events surrounding her death, our firm organised for expert reports to be obtained to comment on the care provided by this major Hospital. It was agreed by two highly sought experts that the lung biopsy conducted by the Hospital was premature and was ultimately the patient’s cause of death. The expert went on to explain that the biopsy triggered bleeding into the airways which blocked her oxygen supply.

Claims were brought on behalf of our clients, and the matter was settled providing our clients with some justice for them and their family. We were also able to secure funds from the Hospital to reimburse the client for all the funeral expenses he had to incur for the patient.

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