Lawsuit Alleges Medical Center Failed To Treat Patient’s Bacterial Blood Infection

On the evening of August 10, 2021, the man, who had a history of aortic stenosis and aortic valve replacement, went to the emergency room at Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center (SEIRMC) with complaints of neck pain that he had been experiencing for two days and back spasms (he had had fallen down some steps at this home on July 25, 2021, but had not suffered any fractures)…, Iowa Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center Failed To Treat Patient’s Bacterial Blood Infection, Apr, 2023


The ER physician found no new injuries but noted ongoing fatigue, weakness, and pain in the man’s biceps on both sides when lifting his arms.


The ER physician ordered blood cultures. The ER physician reviewed the initial lab results, diagnosed the man with acute hyponatremia (low levels of sodium in the bloodstream), and admitted the man to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.


The next morning, blood culture tests on one of the two blood samples indicated the presence of gram-positive cocci in clusters, which indicates a possible bacterial blood infection. The lab results were reported to two physicians but those physicians allegedly did not report the results to another physician, who did not review the lab results himself and discharged the man from the hospital that afternoon. The lab results were not discussed with the man or his primary care physician.


On August 14, 2021, both blood samples from August 10 confirmed the presence of Streptococcus mitis bacteria and Streptococcus oralis bacteria.


On September 18, 2021, the man was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at SEIRMC after experiencing nausea and vomiting that morning, complaining that he had not been able to eat recently and he had been suffering from chronic weakness and fatigue for the previous two months. Blood was drawn and he was placed on antibiotics.


On September 19, 2021, the results of the blood culture tests found the presence of gram-positive Cocci in chains. On September 20, 2021, the lab confirmed the presence of Streptococcus mitis bacteria and Streptococcus oralis bacteria in the September 18 blood draws.


The man’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he died on October 26, 2021.


The widow’s Iowa medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleges that she sustained the loss of the company, cooperation, affection, and aid of her husband, and that their children sustained the loss of comfort, guidance, affection, and aid of their father.


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