$1.1 Million Dollar Settlement for Cardiac Death

A twenty-seven-year-old woman presented to an Illinois hospital with acute pancreatitis. She was unmarried and had no children. She had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. The patient was placed on a telemetry floor, where she was recovering nicely. On the day of discharge, she developed bradycardia (a low heart rate) and her QTC interval became prolonged. Instead of getting an immediate cardiology consult, the attending hospitalist ordered that the cardiac monitor be taken off. She was found dead 4 hours later. The autopsy showed that the likely cause of death was an arrhythmia. The defendant claimed that the patient was stable, that her blood pressure and all vitals were normal and that she was well appearing on exam. The decedent was survived by her two parents.