Med-mal complaint filed over blood clot

Kelly Holleran Mar. 2, 2011, 3:00am

The family of a deceased woman has filed suit against the doctor and the clinic where the woman was being treated for a sprained left ankle, saying they are to blame for her death, which occurred nearly seven years ago.

James J. Greco and minors Taylor Rose Marie Greco, Heather N. McKaig and Nicholas J. McKaig claim their wife and mother, Tamara Kay Greco, died after a blood clot blocked her coronary artery.

Just before her death, the 38-year-old Greco had twisted her left ankle and foot on April 30, 2004. She visited defendant Dr. Bruce Vest Jr., who diagnosed her with a sprained left ankle, according to the complaint filed Feb. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Vest decided to place an equalizer brace on Greco's foot and told her to return to defendant Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic if she had further problems, the suit states.

On May 5, 2004, Tamara Greco reappeared at the clinic with complaints of pain in her left ankle and foot and with numbness in her toes, the complaint says. Doctors gave her Bextra and a refill of her Vicodin prescription, then let her leave without evaluating her vascular status or providing her with anticoagulant therapy, the plaintiffs claim.

On May 7, 2004, Tamara Greco died from a bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli that resulted from the immobility of her left foot, according to the complaint.

Because of their wife's and mother's death, the plaintiffs have incurred funeral expenses and lost her services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support, the suit states.

In their suit, the plaintiffs blame the defendants for causing Tamara Greco's death, saying they failed to provide her with an anticoagulant therapy, failed to warn her of the risk of deep vein thrombosis, failed to consult with a specialist in vascular therapy and failed to warn Tamara Greco of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis because of her lack of mobility.

In addition, the defendants negligently failed to obtain a history of Tamara Greco's lack of mobility when she visited the second time and failed to obtain a sonogram of her lower venous system, according to the complaint.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Burton Newman and David Perney of Burton Newman in St. Louis and by David Horan of St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-40./i>

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