Success Stories

patient safety is our priority

Pennsylvania Hospital Pays for Unsafe Practice Leading to Patient’s Death

Atlee Hall attorneys Jaime Jackson and Angelina Umstead recently settled a case against a Pennsylvania hospital on behalf of the family of a patient who passed away of a pulmonary embolism following hernia repair surgery.

This case involved the patient safety rule that a hospital nurse must alert a doctor when a patient shows signs or symptoms of a potential danger. Patients are kept in hospitals following surgery so they can be monitored, so they can be watched. Hospital nurses are to watch over and care for the patient and contact a doctor when the patient is showing signs of trouble.

Medical care providers know that all patients are at risk for blood clots or a pulmonary embolism following surgery and that doctors and nurses must be on the lookout for signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, sweating, and discomfort or pain in the lower extremities. In this case, the patient’s medical records reveal that the patient was experiencing these symptoms for almost 24 hours before a blood clot broke off in his leg and traveled to his heart and lungs leading to his death.

A nurse must tell the doctor about important changes in the patient’s condition for the safety of the patient, to protect all of us from serious injury or death. This is true whether the patient is in the recovery room, in the emergency department, radiology department, post-surgery department or anywhere in the hospital.

Atlee Hall worked with several medical experts from around the country, including patient safety experts, nursing experts, and experts in blood and hematology.

The case settled just before jury selection, several key exhibits developed by Atlee Hall included an animation to depict how blood clots develop and how these clots may travel to the heart and lungs blocking the flow of oxygen in blood that may lead to a patient’s death.

To learn more about your legal rights and options as a victim of medical malpractice, please contact Atlee Hall, LLP today for a free consultation. We have offices in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but help victims across the state.

For more information contact For more information contact