The relative of a recently deceased woman claims the woman died after doctors failed to diagnose her with sepsis.

Debra D. Thomas filed a lawsuit Dec. 4 in Madison County Circuit Court against Alton Memorial Hospital, BC Illinois Emergency Physicians, Emergency Consultants, ECI Emergency Consultants, Dr. Angela M. Holbrook, Dr. Alan F. Johnson and Dr. Raghu Kanumuri.

In her complaint, Thomas alleges the recently deceased Keshia N. Smith visited Alton Memorial Hospital on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, 2011. Doctors there discharged her and sent her home before discovering that she had a fatal bacteria in her body, according to the complaint.

As a result of the bacteria, Smith died of septic shock, multi-organ system failure and respiratory failure on Dec. 8, 2011, the suit states.

Because of Smith’s death, her next-of-kin have been deprived of her companionship and society and have suffered grief, sorrow and mental suffering, the complaint says.

Thomas blames the hospital for causing Smith’s death, saying staff there negligently discharged her without knowing the results of a gram stain that revealed the deadly bacteria, failed to call Smith back to the emergency room when they discovered the bacteria and failed to administer treatment for sepsis.

She also names BC Illinois Emergency Physicians, ECI Emergency Consultants and Emergency Consultants as defendants, saying they negligently failed to test Smith for strep throat; failed to obtain a complete history when Smith was complaining of strep throat; failed to appreciate Smith’s high risk of infection; failed to note that Smith’s increased heart rate and fever, chills and headache were symptoms of sepsis; and failed to order a gram stain on a STAT basis, among other negligent acts.

Dr. Angela M. Holbrook negligently failed to test Smith for strep throat, failed to obtain a complete history when Smith was complaining of a sore throat and failed to appreciate Smith’s high risk of infection given her medical history, according to the complaint.

Dr. Alan F. Johnson is another defendant in the lawsuit due to his alleged failure to appreciate Smith’s high risk of infection; failed to diagnose Smith with sepsis after finding her with an increased heart rate, fever, chills and headache; failed to order a gram stain on a STAT basis; failed to obtain the results of the gram stain before discharging Smith from the hospital; failed to call Smith back to the emergency room after getting the results of the gram stain and failed to admit Smith to the hospital in a timely manner, the suit states.

Thomas also mentions Dr. Raghu Kanumuri as a defendant, saying he negligently failed to administer intravenous antibiotics to Smith in a timely manner, failed to appreciate the critical nature of Smith’s illness, failed to recognize Smith’s deteriorating respiratory status, failed to timely intubate Smith, failed to appreciate Smith’s metabolic acidosis, failed to order and administer blood products to treat coagulopathy, failed to appreciate septic shock in a timely manner, failed to provide supportive care for septic shock, failed to timely admit Smith to intensive care and failed to obtain a critical care consultation for Smith, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Thomas seeks a judgment of more than $700,000, plus costs.

Staci M. Yandle of The Law Offices of Staci M. Yandle in O’Fallon will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-2027.

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