Saint Anthony's, doctors and sister named in med mal suit

Kelly Holleran Jul. 28, 2009, 8:17am

A Madison County woman and her husband blame doctors at Saint Anthony's Hospital for failing to diagnose the woman with a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Kelly and Ted DeNardo filed a lawsuit July 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against Saint Anthony's Hospital, physician assistant Sister Maura Carrasco and doctors Roque Ramos and Erik Falconer.

The DeNardos claim Kelly DeNardo was at home talking to her husband when she suddenly experienced a severe pain in her neck and a severe headache on July 23, 2007. In addition, Kelly DeNardo had nausea, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia, according to the complaint.

"Kelly had a 10-year history of suffering from migraine headaches but knew that the pain this time was unlike any pain she had had before and when her pain did not subside Kelly's husband took her to the hospital at approximately 2:45 p.m. on July 24, 2007," the suit states.

By the time she arrived at the hospital, Kelly DeNardo was in such pain she could not even sign her name on a required consent form, the complaint says.

Falconer examined Kelly DeNardo, diagnosed her with cephalgia and released her from the hospital, the DeNardos claim.

Still, Kelly DeNardo's headache pain persisted, and she returned to the emergency room on July 25, 2007, with the same symptoms she was experiencing during her first visit, but with an added stiff neck, according to the complaint.

During her second visit, Kelly DeNardo was seen and treated by Carrasco, who was under Ramos's supervision, the suit states.

But Carrasco also failed to diagnose DeNardo with the subarachnoid hemorrhage and released her, the complaint says.

It was not until Kelly DeNardo was seen by Dr. Rai, a neurologist, that she was diagnosed with the hemorrhage, she claims.

Because of Kelly DeNardo's illness, her husband, Ted DeNardo suffered a decrease of his wife's consortium and services and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

DeNardo blames Carrasco for not acquiring a complete copy of her medical history, for failing to review prior medical records, for failing to perform a neurological examination and for failing to recognize the significance of her signs and symptoms.

"That at all times referred to herein, Sister Maura Carrasco did not possess and apply the knowledge and use the skill and care of a reasonably well-qualified physician's assistant in that she failed to consult with her supervising physician, failed to do appropriate testing as referred to herein, failed to refer or consult with a neurologist or neurosurgeon, misdiagnosed Kelly's condition, and discharged her at a time when Kelly was suffering from a subarachnoid hemorrhage," the complaint says.

Ramos should have properly supervised Carrasco, but his failure to do so led to Kelly DeNardo's untimely release from the hospital, the suit states.

In the six-count suit, the DeNardos are seeking a judgment of more than $300,000.

John Womick of Womick Law Firm in Herrin will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-761.

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