Woman says nursing home overdosed blood thinner

Marilyn Tennissen Oct. 23, 2007, 11:00am

Claiming she was given too much blood thinner, a Port Arthur woman is suing a nursing home in Groves.

Henrietta Hebert filed her medical malpractice suit against Magnolia Manor and Cresthaven Health Care Center Ltd. on Oct. 22 in Jefferson County District Court.

Hebert was a patient at Magnolia Manor, a long-term care facility in Groves operated by Cresthaven Health Care.

In 2005 and for several previous years, Hebert was taking the anti-coagulant Coumadin. Magnolia Manor staff were responsible for administering the medication to Hebert, as well as monitoring dosage effects through prothrombin time/International Normalized Ration and other tests.

The anti-coagulant effects of Coumadin become more pronounced as daily maintenance doses overlap. Hemorrhage is a known risk of taking an anti-coagulant. The risk of hemorrhage rises with the level and duration of therapy.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Nov. 21, 2005, Hebert was admitted to Christus Hospital St. Mary in Port Arthur suffering from acute abdominal pain, nausea, massive upper gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria and over-treated anti-coagulation.

"Ms. Heber was diagnosed with Coumadin toxicity," the petition states.
Heber was placed on a ventilator and received blood transfusions.

"Further, while in the hospital, Ms. Hebert suffered extreme tachycardia with no blood pressure," the petition states. "She had to be resuscitated by an Emergency Room doctor. She also received a feeding tube. "

Hebert was in the hospital from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5, 2005, and continues to have a feeding tube.

The suit says that the defendant violated the duty of care to Hebert and was negligent for the following:

Failing to monitor Hebert's Coumadin level;

Failing to recognize Hebert's signs of Coumadin toxicity;

Failing to properly adjust the prescribed Coumadin;

And failing to follow doctor's orders regarding the administration and monitoring of Coumadin.

"Each and every one of the foregoing acts and/or omissions, taken separately and collectively, constitute a direct and proximate cause of the injuries and damages described above," the petitions states.

The plaintiff alleges that she has had to engage the services of medical specialists and undergo expenses and treatment for her injuries.

"The repercussions from this injury are permanent in nature and have had a serious effect on her health and well being," the petition alleges.

Hebert is seeking damages for mental and physical pain and anguish in the past and future, medical expenses in the past and future, interest, attorney fees, costs of suit and other relief to which she may be entitled.

Barry Bennett of Eddins & Bennett Law Firm LLP in Beaumont is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B180-572

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