October 23, 2018, PNLR News | The American Association For Justice Archive

October 23, 2018, PNLR News

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Failure to diagnose, treat anaphylaxis

picture of needle with contrast dye container

The husband of a woman who died of anaphylaxis after being administered contrast dye for a CT scan sued a hospital, alleging its ER physician failed to administer epinephrine as soon as he observed the patient’s reaction. The jury awarded $29.5 million. DeJongh v. Sioux Ctr. Health.

Carrie DeJongh, 40, underwent a CT scan with contrast at a hospital operated by Sioux Center Health. A few minutes after being administered the contrast dye, DeJongh lost consciousness and went into shock. Her condition improved, but she felt anxious and confused. A technician summoned emergency room physician Roy Slice, who moved DeJongh to the emergency room and ordered Benadryl and Solu Medrol. Twenty minutes later, a code blue was called, and DeJongh was administered epinephrine 16 minutes later. Despite this, she died.

DeJongh had been a part-time bookkeeper and is survived by her husband and four minor children.

DeJongh’s husband, individually and on behalf of her estate, sued the hospital, alleging failure to timely diagnose and treat anaphylactic shock. Suit also alleged vicarious liability. The plaintiffs asserted that Slice should have ordered epinephrine as soon as he observed DeJongh, who was having a reaction to the contrast dye.

The jury awarded $29.5 million.

Citation: DeJongh v. Sioux Ctr. Health, No. LACV026141 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Sioux Cnty. June 13, 2018).

Plaintiff counsel: Courtney Rowley, Rod Ritner, Matt Reilly, and Dominic Pechota, all of Decorah, Iowa; and AAJ member Nicholas Rowley, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Plaintiff expert: James Mathews, emergency medicine, Chicago.

Defense experts: William Heegaard, emergency medicine, Minneapolis; Richard Cohan, radiology, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Brian Cunningham, emergency medicine, Freemont, Neb.