Kreindler Wins $1.5 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Case for Failure to Diagnose Bacterial Endocarditis
- Kreindler was successful in obtaining a $1.5 million settlement awarded on behalf of the family of a New York State resident who suffered a stroke after extensive dental work.
- Managing partner Noah Kushlefsky argued that the specialist physicians should have determined the root cause of the patient’s symptoms and begun appropriate treatment in time to save her life.
A 49-year-old wife and mother began feeling flu-like symptoms after undergoing four hours of periodontal surgery. A few days later she experienced numbness and clumsiness on her left side, indicating some type of neurological event.
Initial Diagnosis Revised
The patient presented at the office of her family medical group and saw an internist who contacted a consulting neurologist by phone. The neurologist was told about the four hours of oral surgery and suggested the patient might have experienced an arterial dissection (a torn artery in the neck), which can result in what is known as a “beauty parlor stroke” because, in rare cases, it can be brought on by the neck being in an unusual position for an extended period.
The patient was immediately sent to the emergency room. Within hours of her admission, bilateral stroke (a stroke on both sides of the brain) was diagnosed and arterial dissection was eliminated as a possible cause. At the hospital, she was attended to by two cardiologists, a neurologist, an internist and an emergency medicine specialist.
Cause Not Identified, No Treatment Begun
All of the doctors knew she had recently undergone extensive dental work and that dental work can cause endocarditis in patients with pre-existing heart valve issues. Nevertheless, no diagnosis was made over the next seven days and no antibiotics were administered. As a result, the patient suffered several additional massive strokes and subsequently died.
Dental work can often release the bacteria associated with gingivitis, commonly known as gum disease. When gums bleed, that bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other areas.
Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves, and is most likely to occur when there is pre-existing damage to the heart. The infection inhibits the heart’s ability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body, including the brain. Typically, antibiotics are prescribed for any type of bacterial infection.
A Just Outcome for an Unfortunate Tragedy
This wrongful death medical malpractice case was filed and litigated in the New York State Supreme Court in Nassau County by Kreindler attorneys Noah Kushlefsky and David Beekman. They successfully argued that the specialist physicians should have determined the root cause of the patient’s symptoms and begun appropriate treatment in time to save her life.
The $1.5 million settlement was awarded on behalf of the victim’s family.
More About the Kreindler Attorney Involved in the Case
Noah Kushlefsky is a Managing Partner in the firm. His legal acumen has resulted in large verdicts and settlements throughout a diverse range of practice areas, including commercial aviation accidents, general aviation airplane accidents, product liability, transportation accidents and complex personal injury.