Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

should i blame the hoispital for my fathers death?

Posted In: Medical Errors 2 Replies
  • Posted By: zektronix
  • April 4, 2008
  • 03:07 PM

The very short story is my father was given warfarin when his condition was a dissection of the Aorta. A rapid decline into sudden death followed.

Obviously it is not so black and white. When treated a scan showed no Aortic damage and a previous recent angiogram showed no signs of damage in that department either. Lungs were tested for clots and also showed nothing. They did not know what was wrong with him and why he had chest pains (later spreading to much of his torso) and decided to treat him with warfarin as his pulse was irregualr and they feared a possible clot leading to heart attack.

It seems to me that when a patient has chest pains and it is not an apparent heart or lung problem it should be very important to rule out dissection of the Aorta before administering Warfarin. The hospital say that is correct but they did the scan and it showed nothing so they did what they should have. Is that all they could have done to rule it out?

Perhaps I should also be angry with his doctor who one week previously halved his high blood pressure medication (thus thinning the blood).

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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2 Replies:

  • I understand how you feel - my grandfather went in pretty much the same way... he had a heart attack, and was slowly improving until they started either a warfarin or heparin infusion - that day he was complaining of lower back pain, and was later, after rapidly deteriorating, transferred to ICU. He died soon after from retroperitoneal bleeding and acute renal failure as a result. We had many concerns regarding the care my grandfather received whilst on the general wards, especially with the monitoring of the infusion - I was actually studying nursing at the time, and was amazed at how often nursing staff didn't check the pumps, or provide any patient care...anyway, to cut a long story short, after my grandfather's death, we made a family decision to speak to the doctor and other staff involved in his care - we arranged a meeting to review the whole medical records and put a formal complaint into the staff involved. In the end, despite potential medical negligence (potential overdose with the infusion), and unsatisfactory patient care, we left the complaint with the hospital staff to deal with - we figured that nothing could really be changed that would result in bringing our father and grandfather back if we took legal action. Instead we decided it would be better allow the hospital evaluate and assess their protocols, staffing and patient care skills so it would be of benefit to other patient's welfare. I hope this helps in some way! :)
    concerned26 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm so sorry about your dad. I don't think they look very often for dissections and it is a dangerous condition with oftentimes mis-diagnosed resulting in death. Please see an attorney to discuss your options. You may want to talk with a couple of them to see if they agree.Blessings to you...
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies Flag this Response
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