Attorneys Daniel S. Weinstock and Carolyn M. Chopko secured an eight-figure confidential settlement on behalf of a 21-year-old college student who suffered a massive stroke when medical providers failed to properly treat his sickle cell anemia.
The student had been admitted to the hospital with a fever of 105 degrees, edematous lymph nodes, a heart rate of 110 and an enlarged spleen and was at very high risk of acute chest syndrome/sickle cell crisis. A consulting hematologist ordered that he be put on daily Lovenox in order to prevent a veno-occlusive event such as the stroke that ultimately occurred. However, a hospital nurse failed to enter the order into the computer, and Lovenox was never given to the student. In addition, a consulting hematologist decided to delay a blood transfusion for several days because he mistakenly believed that the student’s complete blood count (CBC) values upon admission may have represented his normal values. His attending physician knew the values reflected a one-third drop from his normal hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, indicating active sickling and evolution of an acute and evolving crisis, but never provided the critical information to the hematologist. The normal blood count values were in both the student’s chart and in the hospital system from previous blood work.
Several days later, the student went into a full-blown sickle cell crisis and began having a massive stroke. He was transferred to another hospital where he was diagnosed with acute chest syndrome and sickle cell crisis, and an exchange transfusion was performed. However, the team at the second hospital was slow in performing the emergently needed exchange transfusion, which further contributed to the student’s ultimate injuries.
As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the student, who had been pursuing a degree in computer science, can now barely walk or speak and will require around-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
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