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University Hospitals mistake kills 31-year-old Sheffield Lake woman, jury rules
By October 17, 2016 at 6:48 AMOctober 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM, updated
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cuyahoga County jury awarded a Sheffield Lake family $1.9 million Thursday after deciding that an emergency room misdiagnosis cost a 31-year-old woman her life.
Lisa Born had been healthy and active before she woke up at 3 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2014, with sharp pains in her back and leg, according to her family’s lawsuit. Unable to walk down the stairs, Born went to the University Hospitals Avon Health Center Emergency Room.
Born had a blood clot, called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT, that was blocking circulation in her right leg.
But physicians at the University Hospitals facility never tested her for DVT, the jury found, even after a triage nurse noted that Born’s birth control medication increased her risk for DVT as much as 10 times. Instead, Dr. Melissa Marker diagnosed her with lower back pain.
“They just rushed us through, they wouldn’t listen, it was bad,” Lisa Born’s mother, Linda Born, said Friday. “I kept saying no, it’s her leg, it’s her leg, but they just ignored me.”
The hospital treated her with pain and anti-inflammatory medication and discharged her after a 69-minute visit.
“We were the only ones there,” Linda Born said.
At around 9 a.m., her family found her unresponsive in bed.
The medical examiner determined that Lisa Born died of pulmonary embolism, a condition caused when a blood clot travels to the lungs and heart and causes fatal damage.
Lisa Born’s surviving family, her mother Linda Born, father and three siblings, sued the hospital system in July 2015.
University Hospitals offered $60,000 in what is called a cost-of-defense settlement, according to the family’s attorney, Michael Djordjevic. The Borns declined the settlement.
“It is clearly an insult to a family that just lost their first-born child,” Djordjevic said Friday.
At trial, Djordjevic presented a Johns Hopkins Medicine study that found that medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States.