The family of Sarah Crayton, who died days after receiving a heart test, have settled their lawsuit with the University of Chicago for $2.6 million.
The lawsuit stems back to an incident on July 7, 2014. Crayton went to the University of Chicago that day for an appointment with a heart specialist. She had been experiencing shortness of breath and had other ailments, but thought that she was just going to a routine doctor’s appointment.
However, things went wrong after her doctor ordered a heart test. It ended up damaging her arteries and causing internal bleeding. She died just a few days later.
The puncture to her artery caused blood to leak into her lower abdomen. The family’s lawyers said that the heart test might not have been necessary and that doctors should have repaired it immediately or inserted a stent to cover the hole.
“She went in for a routine doctor’s appointment, and she ends up in the hospital,” Shamona Nichols, Crayton’s daughter, said.
The lawsuit also says that they shouldn’t have released Crayton from the hospital so early. Doctors allowed her to go home after three days.
“If you read the chart, you could tell she was not doing well,” Nichols said. “They released her anyway.”
Crayton’s son-in-law found her on the bedroom floor and called 911. She was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where they discovered that she was bleeding internally. They inserted a stent to stop the bleeding, but it was too late.
The doctors at the University of Chicago said that Crayton’s red blood cell counts had improved when they discharged her, so they believed she was okay.
Gomberg-Maitland, the doctor who treated Crayton at the University of Chicago, said that she was already very ill when she came in. After Crayton had an irregular heartbeat, Gomberg-Maitland testified, “My impression was … I needed to stabilize her and admit her into the intensive-care unit.”