The daughter of a recently deceased man claims her father's death could have easily been avoided had doctors at Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital and Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth recognized the fact that he was bleeding to death.
Kathy Keegan filed a lawsuit April 6 in Jefferson County District Court against the two hospitals and doctors Derrick M. Myers and Steven K. Sooudi.
Keegan claims her father, David Barrow, underwent a cardiac catherization on April 16, 2009. Three days later, Barrow had a syncopal episode at home and was transported to Memorial Hermann where he was admitted to the emergency department under the care of Dr. Myers, according to the complaint.
Upon initial evaluation, doctors diagnosed Barrow as being hypotensive with pain in his groin at the catheter insertion site, the suit states. The emergency room's triage nurse also noted there was right lower extremity bruising, the complaint says.
Later, a venous duplex study revealed a large hematoma in Barrow's right lower extremity, Keegan claims.
About six-and-a-half hours later, Myers spoke to Barrow's cardiologist's partner, Sooudi, who agreed to accept Barrow in transfer, according to the complaint.
"There was no Memorandum of Transfer, and no explanation as to why Mr. Barrow was transferred as opposed to receiving further care at Baptist Hospital," the suit states. "Likewise, there was no evaluation of the risks and benefits of the transfer."
At Christus Hospital, a CT scan revealed Barrow's abdomen and pelvis had a large, ill-defined hematoma in his thigh and lower groin region, the complaint says.
At 11:40 p.m., while Barrow was still in the Christus Hospital emergency department, he became unresponsive and was intubated, Keegan claims. At 12:35 a.m., he was moved from the emergency department to the intensive care unit, according to the complaint.
At 5 a.m., Barrow died after Sooudi ordered emergency officials not to resuscitate him, the suit states.
An autopsy revealed Barrow died from a leak in his catheter insertion site that should have been treated shortly after his arrival at Baptist Orange Hospital at 10:30 a.m., the complaint says.
"But, despite being at Baptist Orange Hospital for over eight hours and at Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth for over nine hours, nothing was done to stop his bleeding," the suit states. "And, because of Defendants' failure to recognize this risk and recommend or provide relatively simple surgical intervention to stop this bleeding, David Barrow unnecessarily bled to death."
Before his death, Barrow experienced pain and suffering, Keegan claims. In addition, Keegan incurred medical, funeral and burial expenses; lost her father's affection, companionship, comfort and solace; suffered extreme grief and mental anguish; and lost her father's services, according to the complaint.
Keegan blames Myers, in part, for causing her father's death, saying he negligently failed to actively manage Barrow's medical condition, failed to assess Barrow's medical condition, failed to diagnose Barrow's hemorrhagic shock, failed to diagnose the source of Barrow's bleeding, failed to control the bleeding from Barrow's groin and failed to follow up and review the results of Barrow's diagnostic testing. In addition, he failed to consult with a specialist to assist with controlling the bleeding from Barrow's groin and failed to evaluate Barrow's condition for transfer, according to the complaint.
Keegan also places partial blame on Sooudi, who she claims negligently failed to actively manage Barrow's medical condition, failed to assess Barrow's medical condition, failed to assess and make an in-person appearance to evaluate Barrow's condition, failed to control the bleeding from Barrow's groin and failed to consult with a specialist to assist with controlling the bleeding in Barrow's spine.
In her complaint, Keegan seeks actual damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.
Giles Kibbe of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont will be representing her.
The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.
Jefferson County District Court case number: E186-481.