A Florida family is learning just how easily a medical error can turn tragic. In addition to that, they are also finding out the lengths some healthcare facilities may go to in order to cover up a mistake.
Barbara Dziedzic was visiting her 25-year-old son, Josh, in Palms West Hospital while he was being treated for opioid addiction in 2016. A nurse came in to remove his IV line and immediately Josh stated that he was having trouble breathing. As his oxygen levels were dropping rapidly and he began convulsing, a doctor asked the nurse if she had just performed the IV removal. Josh fell unconscious and would never wake up. The family decided to take him off life support in August of 2016, one week after he was admitted to the hospital.
The family was told that Josh had died of broken heart syndrome, and that he felt so terrible about relapsing, it literally killed him. The report from the county medical examiner upon his death however, proved that to be untrue. The cause of Josh’s death was a venomous air embolism, or an air bubble that entered his vein when his IV line was improperly removed.
“Medical errors happen all too often,” says Jeanmarie Whalen of Domnick, Cunningham & Whalen. “But when the professionals we trust our care to lie about it to cover up their own mistakes, it makes it even more devastating to those injured and their families.”
That is just what happened to the Dziedzic family. A lawsuit the family has filed against Palms West Hospital focuses on the fact that not only was the hospital responsible for his death, but that they caused additional pain and suffering trying to cover it up. The lawsuit states that the lie they were told caused them to believe they had not done enough to support Josh during his life.
Palms West has denied the allegations made in the lawsuit, even though an investigation found the doctor had made a note of the real cause of death the day it happened. The medical staff at Palms West has also admitted that proper procedures were not followed when Josh’s IV line was taken out.
As with most cases of medical malpractice, Josh’s story is a reminder that medical malpractice can in fact happen. When it does, those injured have every right to file a lawsuit and hold responsible parties liable for their actions.