Nurse Found Negligent in Fatal Latex Allergy Case :: Whittel & Melton

776917_guantes_gloves_.jpgA jury recently awarded a surviving husband $4 million in a wrongful death suit as a result of a nurse’s error that eventually claimed the life of his 29-year-old wife.

The man’s wife went in for a hysterectomy, but medical professionals failed to recognize the woman had a latex allergy. After surgery, the woman expressed that she was itchy, felt nauseous and had blisters on her lips. She was provided Benadryl for the itchiness and the nausea was attributed to the anesthesia.

A day later, the woman was placed on a ventilator and moved to the intensive care unit. She died just four days after surgery.

The hospital’s allergy policy requires that every patient’s allergies be documented prior to admission. Listed allergies are supposed to be recorded in case they can be linked to any unknown allergies that could result in complications. The woman noted that she had an allergy to chestnuts, which can be a sign of sensitivity to latex. According to the hospital’s policies, this information should have been recorded on her chart and been displayed in her hospital room.

However, the nurse that evaluated the woman was unaware of the hospital’s procedures. Her death was found to be caused by the use of latex in her surgical procedure and subsequent treatments eventually leading to anaphylactic shock.

While the jury did not find the surgeon negligent, they did hold the hospital accountable for the nurse’s negligence.

The jury awarded $516,000 to the wrongful death beneficiaries and $4,175,000 to the woman’s estate.

When it comes to medical malpractice, people generally think of mistakes made by doctors. However, nurses also play a serious part in the treatment of patients. A nurse’s error or wrongdoing can be just as harmful as a mistake made by a doctor or surgeon.

A nurse can be found negligent for a variety of reasons, including:

 Documentation errors
 Failing to monitor a patient properly
 Medication overdose or error
 Failing to call or notify a doctor of a patient’s condition in a timely fashion
 Not properly recording a change in a patient’s condition
 Incorrect use of a medical device
 Failing to attain informed consent


In many medical malpractice cases, it may be difficult to determine if your loved one’s death was the result of nursing negligence, a surgical error, a physician’s mistake or another medical professional’s negligence. The Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can pinpoint exactly what caused your loved one’s death. We handle numerous medical malpractice matters and are closely familiar with the strategies used by hospitals and their insurers to avoid accepting fault.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a hospital nurse, physician, technician or other staff member, we can help you pursue damages. Contact the Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).

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