Cook County (Ill) Circuit Court
A 23-year-old gravida suffered an abruption due to severe preeclampsia and required an emergency cesarean. Although the infant was delivered without complication, the mother developed HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver proteins, and low platelets) syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation. She died 36 hours later from an intracerebral hemorrhage.
In suing, the patient’s family claimed that the nurse failed to properly alert the physician to the woman’s elevated blood pressure and proteinuria prior to delivery. If she had notified the doctor, the patient’s preeclampsia would not have worsened.
The physician contended that no consultation was necessary and that the patient’s preeclampsia was sudden and unexpected.
- The jury awarded the plaintiff $9.9 million.