Supreme Court, Ulster County


This trial concerned the nursing care of a hospitalized patient who had experienced respiratory failure, renal insufficiency, hypotension and pericardial tamponade after bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, and pulmonary decortication. Treatment included pericardiocentesis, creation of a pericardial window, chest tube, mechanical ventilation and vasopressors. The patient also underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy at about that time. After transfer from the ICU to a medical/surgical unit, and while receiving anticoagulation, the patient complained of a pounding headache and visual changes, with an elevated blood pressure. The plaintiff alleged that the nurses failed to inform the attending physician about the headache, blood pressure and visual changes thereby allegedly delaying treatment that would have prevented the patient from developing a major hemorrhagic stroke. As a result of the stroke, the patient required a craniotomy and claimed to have become totally blind.

Result : Defense verdict for the hospital.
Defense Attorney : For the hospital: Sarah E. Sholes.