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Withheld County, MA

In this medical malpractice negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician and his nurse practitioner prescribed Adenosine to the asthmatic decedent, which was specifically contraindicated given her active asthma condition. The decedent suffered respiratory arrest and died. The defendant denied the allegations, and disputed the nature and extent of the alleged injuries and damages.

The 54-year-old female plaintiff with a history of asthma experienced breathing problems and chest pain. She was taken by ambulance to the emergency department and came under the care of the defendant cardiologist and his nurse practitioner. The plaintiff was given several nebulizer treatments with Albuterol while in the emergency department and was ordered to have a cardiology consult and an exercise tolerance test. As part of that consultation, the defendant cardiology nurse practitioner changed the test to a pharmacological stress test using Adenosine, which is an antiarrhymic drug. The use of this drug is contraindicated in patients with asthma. Despite this, and the patient’s continued shortness of breath and auscultation – which confirmed that she still had diminished breath sounds in all four lobes of her lungs – the test was commenced. Shortly after the Adenosine was administered, the decedent suffered shortness of breath and respiratory arrest. A code was called and it took some time for the defendant physician to respond. When he did, the patient had suffered irreversible anoxic brain injury and died. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant cardiologist, alleging that the actions of the nurse practitioner were below the standard of care. The plaintiff alleged that the other health care providers in the hospital caring for the plaintiff were also negligent in failing to have the plaintiff’s pulmonologist examine her despite being in the hospital, and there was no need to have an immediate stress test when the patient was clearly having respiratory asthma related issues.

The defendants denied the allegations and disputed that there was any deviation from acceptable standards of care. The defendant cardiologist maintained that he had no memory of the examining or evaluating the patient. The defendants disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The parties agreed to resolve the plaintiff’s claim for the sum of $________ in a confidential agreement three weeks prior to the trial in this matter.

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