A Midstate woman died in April 2017 after a surgical resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) inadvertently punctured an artery. This month, her family filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee hospital where she ultimately died.
The victim in this case was placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) after showing up at VUMC complaining of a kidney infection. During her stay there, her son said that his mom’s condition slowly improved.
Her condition took a turn for the worse though on April 13, 2017. That day, a surgical resident attempted to place a central line into her body while she was under sedation. During the process, she severed his mom’s carotid artery.
This resulted in the blood supply to her brain being stopped. Doctors reportedly attempted to restore the blood flow, however, but by the time they did, she’d already suffered significant brain damage. Her family ultimately decided that it would be best to take her off life support. She died soon thereafter.
In his filing, the victim’s son argued that the medical resident wasn’t adequately trained to perform this delicate procedure without any guidance from a more experienced physician. He also noted that the resident never informed his mother that she wasn’t a fully credentialed doctor at the hospital. He argued that she wasn’t skilled enough to know that she’d made a mistake and save his mother’s life.
Prior to the incident, the victim had worked as a registered nurse (RN) for 20 years. Her son has described her as not only being passionate about her patients but also about people and life in general. In the lawsuit filing, he noted how she always found a way to cheer others up when they were down.
The son is seeking anywhere between $15 and $30 million dollars in damages for his mother’s untimely loss.
While it may seem easy to accuse a Knoxville doctor who makes a fatal mistake of negligence, it’s possible for them to make unavoidable errors even when following policies and procedures closely. In cases in which a doctor is negligent, you have a right to hold them accountable. If you have lost a loved one to an accident, then a personal injury attorney can help take the weight off of your shoulders and fight for the compensation that you deserve.