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Medical Verdicts

Did missed preeclampsia lead to maternal, infant death?

September 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 9
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<court>Summit County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas</court>

A 27-year-old woman presented to a hospital at 32 weeks’ gestation. She suffered a placental abruption that resulted in the fetus’ death and developed anemia that required a blood transfusion. However, she refused the procedure due to religious beliefs and died several days later.

In suing, the patient’s family claimed that the woman’s signs of preeclampsia went unrecognized by the physician. In addition, they claimed that there were treatment alternatives to a blood transfusion that were not made available to her.

The physicians argued that the woman’s preeclampsia symptoms were unclear, and that it was her refusal to receive a blood transfusion that caused her demise.

  • The case settled for $1 million.

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