Alton man's wrongful death suit set for case management

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 23, 2005, 10:34am

Barnes-Jewish Hospital

St. Anthony's Hospital

A wrongful death complaint filed a year ago by Bradley Whitehead of Alton will be in court before Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian for a case management conference June 29 at 9 a.m.

Whitehead is suing Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJC) and St. Anthony’s Hospital in Alton, claiming his wife Kelly died after doctors failed to properly treat her. He alleges BJC did not examine Kelly prior to her discharge from the hospital on Dec. 17, 2003, and did not treat her for deep vein thrombosis.

Whitehead is represented by Rocco A. Marrese, M.D., J.D. of Edwardsville. The four-count suit is seeking at least $200,000 in damages.

Marrese is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and expert witness/consultant. He has licenses to practice law in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, and he continues to practice medicine.

According to the complaint, from Dec. 6 through Dec. 9, 2003 Kelly, a diet-controlled diabetic, was a patient at St. Anthony’s being treated for a vascular insufficiency in her lower extremities.

She was diagnosed as having the insufficiency due to occlusion of the distal aorta and the iliac bifurcation.

Whitehead claims St. Anthony’s was negligent for:

  • administering Demerol 75mg and Vistaril 50 mg intra-muscular in the right buttock, in an area involved or adjacent to the area of blood deprivation on Dec. 7, 2003 shortly after midnight; and

  • having a clandestine policy to transfer Illinois Public Aid (IDPA) patients such as Kelly to other hospitals because of IDPA’s compensation scheme for the care of patients which delayed treatment.

    “The injection of Demerol and Vistaril into a diabetic ischemic patient resulted in a decubitus ulcer, pain, suffering, inability to easily mobilize, and may have contributed to the thomboembolic disease and her death,” the complaint states.

    Whitehead claims that St. Anthony’s was unwilling to provide the necessary services to treat his wife. And her transfer to BJC further delayed treatment.

    Whitehead claims BJC was negligent for failing to:

  • have or enforce treatment protocols for prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis;

  • monitor Kelly who was found in cardiopulmonary arrest unresponsive to resuscitation;

  • design develop, or implement written procedures or follow written procedures for monitoring patients; and negligent for

  • allowing employees to improperly and unskillfully attend and diagnose Kelly.

    Kelly Whitehead died of a pulmonary embolus on Dec. 21, 2003.

    “Anticoagulant prophylaxis would have reduced the incidence of deep vein thrombosis and improved the chance of survival and a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis would have prevented Kelly’s death,” the complaint states.

    04 L 922

  • More News