University Hospital doctors have settled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a Lake of the Ozarks couple for $2.5 million.
Susan Martin, now 49, was treated at University Hospital in early 2005 for dehydration, which was the result of a gastrointestinal-related condition, her attorney, Morry Cole, said.
The lawsuit claims doctors infused her with nutritional supplements through an IV in her subclavian artery, just below the collarbone, instead of the subclavian vein, where it was supposed to go. According to the lawsuit, that erroneous placement caused fatty blockages to travel to her brain for five consecutive days, “causing severe and debilitating strokes and neurological and cognitive devastation.”
As a result, she’s mentally and physically handicapped, Cole said.
In court records, doctors argued that the strokes could have been caused by pre-existing conditions.
Cole said he could not discuss Martin’s previous health conditions because of privacy laws but maintains that the strokes were the result of improper medical care.
“The feeling was this was the result of an avoidable error,” he said. “When a patient feels like their doctor did not live up to applicable standards of care and it drastically alters their life, it can be something they live with every hour and every minute of every day.”
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