Son blames Baptist Hospital for father's death

David Yates Mar. 31, 2008, 9:50am

The son of Albert Pitre Sr. has filed a medical-malpractice suit against Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital, claiming the hospital hastened his 88-year-old father's death.

Albert Pitre Jr. filed the suit through attorney Clay Dugas on March 28 in the Jefferson County District Court. The plaintiff and his attorney also claim that Texas' med-mal damage caps are unconstitutional.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Albert Pitre Sr., was admitted to Memorial Hermann Baptist on Sept. 8, 2006.

"On admission to the hospital, Mr. Pitre was found with no skin breakdown. On Sept. 1, 2006, Mr. Pitre was first noted with a stage II coccyx pressure ulcer. He was readmitted … on Sept. 8, 2006 with a large sacral and buttock pressure ulcer," the suit said.

"When he was discharged from the hospital, he was found to have eleven 11 pressure ulcers, including a stage Ill to the right hip."

The suit continues by alleging that while under the care of the hospital, Pitre continuously suffered gross abuse, extensive neglect and undue pain. "Mr. Pitre's basic needs were ignored and his dignity was disregarded. "

To back up the plaintiff's allegations, the medical opinion of Dr. David Mansfield was attached to the suit.

In his opinion, Dr. Mansfield says, "Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital Beaumont violated the standard of care with regards to Albert Pitre. When Mr. Pitre was admitted … the staff knew that he was at risk for pressure ulcer development."

Throughout his admission to Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital, the nursing staff violated nursing standards by failing to assess Mr. Pitre's physical condition and by failing to provide adequate documentation of serious incidents as a means of communicating important information to all care-giving nurses.

The suit lists the following acts of negligence:

  • Failing to perform ongoing nursing assessments on Albert Pitre Sr. to identify actual and potential problem areas and to establish a baseline as to Albert Pitre's health status;
  • Failing to make appropriate nursing diagnoses (e.g., alteration in comfort, alteration in hydration, alteration in skin integrity, alteration in elimination patter, potential for urinary tract infection, etc.) based on the ongoing assessments;
  • Failing to develop a comprehensive plan of care which sets forth identified (actual or potential) problem areas, sets short and long term goals for positive outcomes, and outlines specific nursing interventions designed to prevent adverse outcomes from known problem areas;
  • Failing to implement the plan of Care on Albert Pitre Sr.'s behalf;
  • Failing to evaluate Albert Pitre Sr.'s response to the implementation of the Plan of Care through ongoing assessments;
  • And failing to update the plan of care consistent with Albert Pitre Sr.'s response.

    "Pleading further, Plaintiffs maintain and contend that the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 74, et seq., pertaining to medical malpractice is unconstitutional and a violation of due process …," the suit said.

    The plaintiff is also suing for his father's pain, mental anguish and medical expenses, plus survival damages.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District.

    Case No. E181-507

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