A jury recently returned a $4.58m Ohio medical malpractice verdict after a Cleveland woman died from untreated brain edema or swelling within a day of being released from the hospital. The hospital had erroneously diagnosed her with a simple headache.
In 2010, the injured plaintiff, Nakeyia McMichael, had severe headaches that caused her to vomit. She went to the ER of Akron General Medical Center. They ran some tests on her, including a CT scan and MRI of the brain, which revealed the swelling of her brain, which is a medical emergency.
Because there is little room for expansion within the skull, medical providers must act quickly to relieve brain swelling. If this process is left unchecked, the brain will be pushed through the bottom of skull in a process known as herniation, which can cause death. There are medications that can prevent this process, such as steroids or mannitol. In her visit, she was provided these medications and then pursued follow up care from neurology.
In April of 2011, she experienced another flareup causing a severe headache and vomiting. She went to the ER of Cleveland Clinic Main Campus. She was provided steroids, which reduced the headache and was discharged.
Then again in June of 2012, she woke up with a severe headache. She went to the Akron General ER again. She was provided medication to address the headache, but these medications did not help. She was discharged with a migraine headache. There was no imaging taken of the brain and no medications provided to reduce brain swelling. The next morning, she continued to have the severe headache. She was again taken to the ER, but by then it was too late. She died at the age of 33.
This Ohio medical malpractice verdict is a finding by the jury that her medical providers breached the standard of care when treating and misdiagnosed her with a simple migraine headache. Further, the jury found that but for the medical negligence by the Ohio hospital, Ms. McMichael would not have died.
If you believe you have an Ohio medical malpractice case, you should contact a lawyer to review the facts of the case and determine whether you can seek financial compensation.