Family blames doctor for woman's fatal intestinal tear

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 4, 2010, 2:12am

GALVESTON - The family of a Texas City woman who died from an intestinal perforation blame her death on a local gastroenterologist, recent court documents say.

A medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Dr. Kalyanam Subramanyam by the estate of Geneva Jones accuses the Webster-based physician of failing to evaluate the patient around April 20, 2008, when she showed signs of increasing abdominal pain and no bowel movement.
Geneva Jones died two days later.

"Geneva Jones died from an intestinal perforation that was directly caused by Dr. Subramanyam prescribing bowel cleansing agents in the face of intestinal obstruction and abdominal distention," the original petition says.

"Dr. Subramanyam's failure to meet the standard of care... in all medical probability was the proximate cause of the injuries to Geneva Jones in which she suffered from abdominal distention and died from intestinal perforation."

The case was filed Jan. 25 in Galveston County District Court.

It argues the defendant ordered Jones, who was confined at Texas City's Mainland Medical Center to have magnesium citrate and other medications despite clinical evidence and findings consistent with intestinal obstruction.

Rather than follow up on the reports and visit the patient, Dr. Subramanyam made suggestions over the phone despite his awareness of the condition's severity, according to the suit.

"The nurse's note states 'PT with no stool...PT having no BM from prep. Abdomen hard and distended C/O pain," the suit states. "Again, without seeing the patient Dr. Subramanyam ordered two more tap water enemas."

The plaintiffs insist the prescriptions worsened the abdomen and surrounding areas.

Jones was found unresponsive in her hospital bed on Apr. 22, 2008, around 4:25 a.m.

Autopsy reports state her her colon was completely obstructed and markedly dilated.

Coastal Gastroenterology Associates PA, with whom Dr. Subramanyam practices, is also named a defendant.

The plaintiffs consequently seek undisclosed monetary damages.

Houston attorney J. Michael Lejia is representing the estate.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10cv0290

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