Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death
Court: Fairfax County Circuit Court
Tried before: Jury
Verdict or settlement: Verdict
Amount: $0 (defense)
Attorneys for defendant (and city): Michael E. Olszewski and Kambria T. Lannetti, Fairfax
Description of case: The decedent, a trauma patient who had fallen at home, presented to the hospital on Dec. 4, 2019. She had suffered a right arm fracture and various facial fractures.
Upon admission, the patient’s hemoglobin count was 10.8 g/dL. Thereafter, she was placed on IV fluids in anticipation of arm surgery. That arm repair surgery occurred in the late hours of Dec. 6, 2019.
The following morning, the patient’s hemoglobin had dropped to 7.6 g/dL. Nevertheless, she was placed on Lovenox, a blood thinner, for deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis. During the evening of Dec. 8, 2019, she became unresponsive. An ABG was done, which revealed a hemoglobin of 4.8 g/dL. Life saving measures were started, including a blood transfusion. The patient died in the early hours of Dec. 9, 2019.
The plaintiff alleged the defendants failed to recognize the decedent’s hemorrhage, as evidenced by a significant drop in hemoglobin. He alleged they should not have given the patient Lovenox. The suit implicated the care of two nurse practitioners and a trauma surgeon.
The defense expert witnesses refuted the plaintiff’s contention showing the patient had no signs or symptoms of internal bleeding and explained that Lovenox, when given prophylactically, does not cause or exacerbate internal bleeding. The defense experts also claimed that the drop in hemoglobin was from hemodilution.
After five days of evidence, the jury deliberated for less than an hour to return a unanimous defense verdict.
Kambria Lannetti, counsel for the defendants, provided case information.[022-T-158]