A girl from Framingham, Mass. was awarded $11.5 million after alleging that a radiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital failed to diagnose her myocarditis in time to avoid injury.
Court records show that Coelho, an 18-month-old at the time, arrived at Newton-Wellesley Hospital with her father on April 12, 2009, with complaints of vomiting and possible dehydration. The Boston Globe reports that after a chest x-ray was performed, radiologist Dr. William Denison determined that Coelho was suffering from a type of pneumonia.
Later, Coelho experienced heart failure and cardiac arrest which resulted in severe permanent neurological damage.
The lawsuit alleged that Coelho was suffering from myocarditis, an enlarged heart, when she visited the hospital in April 2009, and that Denison failed to diagnosis Coelho in time to avoid injury.
According to her attorneys, Coelho could have avoided heart failure and cardiac arrest if she had undergone an echocardiogram and been treated properly.
After a two-week trial and deliberations over two days in Middlesex Superior Court, a jury determined that the Denison’s negligence was a substantial contributing factor in causing Coelho’s injuries, and she was awarded $11.5 million.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. It affects the heart’s electrical system and reduces its ability to pump, causing rapid or abnormal heartbeats.
Severe myocarditis weakens the heart and reduces circulation, leading to blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks.
Myocarditis can be caused by a viral infection or bacteria. It can also be the reaction to a drug or part of an inflammatory condition.
Information below provided by Mayoclinic.org.
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