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Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC reach nearly $4 Million Dollar Settlement following Punctured Heart

November 12, 2018

Attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC announced a settlement today on behalf of their client whose life was dramatically altered in September of 2011 after a very unfortunate and medically negligent decision was made by physicians employed by and working at Cook County Hospital to perform a bedside pericardiocentesis. The procedure was improperly performed and as a result, the patient’s heart was punctured. The settlement was finalized with Cook County for $3,980,000.

In its lawsuit the plaintiff alleged that their client, a 64-year-old man, presented to Cook County Hospital with worsening of shortness of breath. The plaintiff had a health condition called pericardial effusion (excess fluid between the heart and the sac surrounding the heart) but did not exhibit tamponade physiology. Despite no indication of tamponade physiology, which is the reason to perform a pericardiocentesis, an elective, non-emergent and planned bedside pericardiocentesis was performed by a cardiology fellow, under the supervision of an attending cardiologist. During the procedure, the physicians punctured the patient’s heart and caused him to suffer an anoxic brain injury.

“This case represents what happens when young doctors improperly perform procedures for the first time without having taken the proper steps to prepare for an adverse outcome,” said plaintiff’s attorney, Stephan D. Blandin, principal and partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “When a pericardiocentesis procedure is performed, it is done in the cardiac catherization laboratory, not at bedside. The lack of oversight as it pertained to my client was appalling.”

“To say this man’s life has been dramatically altered is an understatement,” added Romanucci & Blandin, LLC Associate, Rebecca E. Neubauer. “His personality is diminished, he cannot take care of himself and he is currently receiving hospice treatment.”

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