ZDR Determines Improper Physician Orders Lead to Wrongful Death

A patient in a hospital bed receives a meal due to improper physician orders, leading to wrongful death.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Zevan Davidson Roman successfully resolved a wrongful death lawsuit for the family of a 65-year-old woman in north central Illinois. Her hospital stay resulted in severe negligence, directly causing her death one week after seeking treatment.

Case Background

An Illinois woman was hospitalized for treatment of a small bowel obstruction. Part of the woman’s treatment for her bowel obstruction included the placement of a nasogastric tube, which decompressed her stomach,  along with bowel rest (nothing by mouth). While at the hospital, the woman’s gastroenterologist ordered for her to receive a colonoscopy preparation solution. The nurse on staff administered four liters of the solution through her nasogastric tube before discovering the physician had ordered the colonoscopy  on the wrong patient.

Subsequently, another physician ordered a soft diet for the woman, despite no radiographic evidence of resolution of her bowel obstruction. The hospital served the woman a hamburger on a bun. As a result of their medical malpractice, she suffered a fatal aspiration pneumonia from the prep solution and hamburger. The woman died approximately one week after receiving the solution.

After her death, ZDR hired experts to review the medical records of the patient to determine if the errors in her treatment led to her death. ZDR obtained information from package inserts that specifically warned against the use of  colon prep solution in patients with bowel obstructions or nasogastric tubes. ZDR alleged that the second physician and hospital were negligent in ordering a soft diet, including a hamburger, for a patient without radiographic imaging showing resolution of the obstruction.  ZDR’s experts determined from the medical records, radiology imaging and the patient’s deteriorating vital signs that the colon prep solution in combination with ingestion of the hamburger led to her development of aspiration pneumonia and subsequent wrongful death.

Pre-Trial Settlement for Wrongful Death

While the case was set to go to trial, the participants of the case came to the agreement to settle their claims a few months before the trial date. ZDR and the patient’s family participated in the mediation of the case in conjunction with the defendants. Since this case involved a wrongful death, the court reviewed and approved the settlement, which was eventually paid out to the woman’s estate.

The woman’s family fought in the face of grief to bring these negligent physicians to justice. If your loved one has experienced a wrongful death at the hands of medical professionals, contact our medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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