The Pennsylvania malpractice lawsuit was filed by Vita Monestersky against Uniontown Hospital in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The complaint alleged that the hospital staff was negligent for failing to give Monestersky’s doctor the results of a blood test that revealed an alarming increase in her white blood cell count after she gave birth. It was later discovered that she had a Strep A infection and required a complete abdominal hysterectomy to save her life.
Monestersky’s gynecologist ordered the blood test from the Uniontown Hospital after she gave birth. The laboratory found a sudden and dramatic increase in white blood cells, but never reported those results to her physician.
The hospital malpractice lawsuit claimed that there was a lack of policies and procedures in place to ensure that the doctor received the white blood cell count information.
Monestersky was only 18 at the time of the hysterectomy in November 2004.
The jury awarded the plaintiff $2.3 million in damages and rejected defense arguments that the elevated white blood count was common after childbirth and was not a significant sign of infection. Her physician testified that if he had been given the test results, he would have been able to treat the infection before it required that she undergo a hysterectomy.