Failure to Diagnose Lawsuit Results in $3M Settlement

The family of a woman, who died as a result of a failure to diagnose a twist in her intestines during three trips to the emergency room, has settled her wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million.

The family of twenty-nine-year-old Heather Sloan, a mother of three who died in March 2005 at Chester Hospital in South Carolina, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and six doctors for failing to properly diagnose and treat her.

The failure to diagnose lawsuit alleged that Heather Sloan’s death was caused by a misread CT scan and the lack of proper communication between the doctors.

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Sloan first visited the Chester Regional Medical Center emergency room three days before her death, with complaints of excruciating abdominal pain. The medical staff at the center were informed that she previously had a gastric bypass surgery, and a CT scan was ordered of her abdomen and pelvis. However, the report was not properly interpreted and Sloan was misdiagnosed with constipation and sent home.

As a result of continued pain, Sloan made two more trips to the emergency room and an operation was ultimately performed that revealed a twist in her intestines that had cut off blood supply to her bowels, known as “dead bowel.”

By the time the problem was discovered, her condition was fatal and Heather Sloan died several hours later.

Days before the case against the doctors was scheduled to go to trial, a settlement was reached to resolve the wrongful death case. The family previously settled with Chester Regional Medical Center for $250,000 last year, and the six doctors have agreed to pay an additional $3 million to Sloan’s three young children to resolve the case.


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