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Survival Action For Negligent Placement Of Central Venous Catheter

Lawsuit Against Northwest Hospital Center, Inc. | July 10, 2020

On July 10, 2020, WVFO attorney Mary Koch and Sarah Smith filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of the estate of a man who died as a result of the negligent placement of a central venous catheter.

The complaint alleges that in November of 2018, the patient presented to the Emergency Department at Northwest Hospital Center complaining of fever and malaise, and was found to be hypotensive. The patient’s prior medial history included seizures, cerebrovascular accident, coronary artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, end stage renal disease, peptic ulcer disease, depression and peripheral vascular disease. In order to obtain vascular access, a second central venous catheter was placed in the emergency department. The procedure notes indicated that the catheter was placed in the patient’s left internal jugular vein using ultrasound guidance. That afternoon, a chest X-ray indicated that the catheter terminated within the expected region of the superior vena cava. The patient was subsequently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (“ICU”) for treatment of sepsis and central line associated bloodstream infection (“CLABSI”). The next day, the patient’s right internal jugular vein catheter was removed, and a new left internal jugular hemodialysis catheter was placed with the assistance of interventional radiology. During this procedure, it was noted that the left central venous catheter that had been placed the day before did not follow the expected course into the superior vena cava, indicating a concern for placement in the left carotid artery. Arterial placement was confirmed and vascular surgery was consulted. The patient was transferred to another hospital for removal of the central venous catheter the following day. The second hospital noted that the catheter that had been placed at Northwest Hospital Center traversed through the front and back wall of the internal jugular vein and through the front wall of the mid common carotid artery. They removed the catheter and repaired the defects in the carotid artery and the jugular vein. Unfortunately, the patient subsequently suffered a left MCA infarct and remained hospitalized until his death on November 28, 2018.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the defendants negligently failed to properly place the central venous catheter, and that this negligence ultimately caused the patient’s death.

The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland.

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