Memorial Hospital and ER doc named in med mal suit

By Ann Knef | Jan 29, 2008

Joy Sanford filed a medical malpractice suit against Memorial Hospital in Belleville and its ER doctor Kurt Kloss, M.D., claiming she had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy due to untreated internal bleeding.

Represented by John Womick of the Womick Law Firm in Herrin, Sanford and her husband Corey Sanford are seeking in excess of $100,000 in damages.

According to the suit filed Jan. 23 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Sanford had a cesarean section at the hospital on Jan. 22, 2006. Elliot Wool, M.D. performed the surgery. Post operative care was provided by her obstetrician/gynecologist Michael E. Herrmann, M.D.

Sanford called for an ambulance on Jan. 31, 2006, at approximately 10:32 p.m. after becoming "ill," the complaint states.

"That on the evening of January 31, 2006, the condition which precipitated the call on behalf of Joy Sanford for emergency assistance was internal bleeding resulting from either the delivery or the cesarean section or both all of which occurred on or about January 22, 2006," the complaint states.

Sanford alleges the hospital's triage nurse negligently evaluated her as not in need of immediate emergency care.

The suit claims that Dr. Kloss examined Sanford at 11:55 p.m. and then ordered blood typing and screening, "but did not require cross matching which is a prerequisite to administration of blood to a patient who is hemorrhaging internally."

Sanford claims that neither Dr. Wool nor Dr. Herrmann were contacted until 2 a.m. on Feb. 1, when Dr. Herrmann was contacted and came to the hospital, and "evaluated the patient and provided appropriate care."

She claims that by the time Dr. Herrmann was notified the delay in providing care and the continuation of internal hemorrhaging caused her to develop a condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a condition which prohibits the blood from clotting, and caused her to continue to hemorrhage and put her life in jeopardy.

"That as a result of the failure to provide appropriate care, Joy Sanford developed respiratory arrest and seizure activity, in addition to the DIC," the complaint states.

"That as a direct and proximate result of the delay in diagnosis and treatment of the bleeding and the development of DIC, Joy's condition had worsened to the point where a hysterectomy was required which also required the removal of her right ovary," the complaint states.

She claims Kloss failed to review the triage nurse's records and medical history which would have indicated the need for an immediate examination and failed to make an appropriate diagnosis of internal bleeding.

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