Bleeding seems like a simple enough problem to correct. We’ve all had a cut or scrape that has resulted in some sort of bleed and we all know the proper way to stop the bleeding: apply pressure and elevate the area. However, when bleeding is internal it is a completely different matter and can result in severe medical complications or death.
This concept is illustrated by a recent Illinois wrongful death settlement where a hospital’s failure to recognize a brain bleed in a timely manner resulted in this man’s death. The decedent had presented to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and was admitted to the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit for neurological observation after he sustained a brain injury as a result of hitting his head in a fall. Upon his admission a CT scan showed a small hemorrhage in his brain, which is basically another way of saying he there was a small bleed in his brain.
The plaintiff’s family alleged that the healthcare providers were medically negligent in their failure to recognize the importance of subsequent signs that indicated that this brain bleed had progressed. Further, they alleged that the doctors should have known and acted on those signs in time to prevent permanent damage and death by ordering an operation that would have relieved the increased pressure in the decedent’s brain.
However, this was not done and the bleed led to increase in his cerebral pressure and further herniation of the brain that led to this Illinois resident’s wrongful death. Had the man’s internal bleeding been recognized in a timely manner whose to say what the outcome would be.
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