According to records, Johnna Hughes was 35 weeks pregnant when she began to experience pain in her right side. She called her doctor and was told that she had probably pulled a muscle. Just days later, she was in such pain that her mother drove her to the hospital.
Hughes, 38, was concerned about her baby when she arrived at the hospital. It was ultimately determined that she would be see in the E.R. instead of in labor and delivery. Doctors ran tests and determined that Hughes had a hematoma in her abdomen and gallstones. What happened next is what landed Hughes and the hospital in court.
According to the standard of care, hematomas are monitored by multiple sonograms. Instead, Hughes was given a prescription for pain killers and sent home. The next day, Hughes was found close to unresponsive by her stepdaughter. It was discovered that she had lost about half of her blood volume and the hematoma had grown to the size of a volleyball.
Hughes was admitted to intensive care and pulled through. Her unborn child died.
Hughes trial began on May 2 and lasted for 10 days. The jury ultimately found that the hospital neglected to operate with a standard of care typical to a patient in Hughes’ situation.
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