A St. Louis County man claims his wife died after a doctor at Gateway Regional Medical Center failed to timely diagnose her with a heart condition.

Thomas Nash claims his recently deceased wife, Denise R. Nash, died on Feb. 23, 2007, after doctors failed to diagnose her with bacterial pericarditis.

Denise R. Nash had visited Gateway numerous times before her death, each time complaining of chest pain, according to the complaint filed Feb. 20 in Madison County Circuit Court.

The first time she visited Gateway, on Jan. 28, 2007, Denise R. Nash was diagnosed with acute pericarditis, was prescribed Motrin and discharged, the suit states.

However, Thomas Nash claims his wife was readmitted to the hospital on Jan. 31, 2007.

On Feb. 1, 2007, Dr. Ubeydullah Deligonul performed a cardiology consultation, according to the complaint.

Even though the cause of the pericarditis was not clear, Deligonul failed to perform a pericardiocentesis, the suit states.

Later, on Feb. 3, 2007, Denise R. Nash was discharged from the hospital, Thomas Nash claims.

On her final readmittance to Gateway on Feb. 23, 2007, Denise R. Nash complained of nausea, vomiting and chest pain, according to the complaint.

A CT scan of her chest showed ascites, large bilateral pleural effusions and a large pericardial effusion, the suit states.

She was taken to the operating room for a pericardial window and insertion of a central line, Thomas Nash claims.

However, when anesthesia was administered, Denise R. Nash became hypotensive and had a cardiopulmonary arrest, according to the complaint.

"She underwent resuscitation and an emergency sternotomy which revealed a pericardium which was thick and with a large amount of pus," the suit states.

Later on Feb. 23, 2007, Denise R. Nash died.

Before her death, Denise R. Nash experienced great pain and suffering and incurred medical expenses, Thomas Nash claims.

Because of Denise R. Nash's death, Thomas Nash and the couple's daughter, Alyssa Mathias, have sustained a deprivation of her society, companionship, guidance, advice, love, affection and economic support, Thomas Nash alleges.

Thomas Nash claims St. Louis Heart and Vascular, Gateway Regional Medical Center, Gateway Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and Deligonul were negligent by failing to recognize and diagnose Denise R. Nash with bacterial pericarditis and by failing to take timely and appropriate action in response to her complaints.

They also allegedly negligently failed to order a pericardiocentesis to diagnose the etiology of her pericarditis, failed to refer Denise R. Nash to a thoracic surgeon for a pericardial window and discharged Denise R. Nash on Feb. 3, 2007, despite being unable to determine the etiology of her pericarditis, according to the complaint.

St. Louis Heart and Vascular, Gateway Regional Medical Center and Gateway Regional Medical Center Auxiliary also allegedly negligently failed to heave in place appropriate policies and procedure for diagnosing bacterial pericarditis and failed to provide proper training to diagnose bacterial pericarditis, the suit states.

In the six-count suit, Thomas Nash is seeking a judgment in excess of $300,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jamie L. Boock of Rossiter and Boock in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0153.

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