California Hospital Sued After Woman Bleeds to Death

The family of a 40-year-old woman who bled to death just hours after a routine procedure is suing Clover Community Medical Center, as well as doctor who works there.

On April 13, 2011, Nicole Caruso underwent a 40-minute surgery and was discharged hours later.  Nicole died approximately 14 hours later in her Clovis home.

Family members filed a medical malpractice lawsuit after Nicole died as a result of medical procedures performed at Clovis Community Medical Center on April 13, 2011.

The wrongful death civil trial is underway in Fresno County Superior Court, CCMC and Dr. Hoa Pham, the anesthesiologist responsible for Caruso’s medication for her surgery, are accused of medical malpractice.

The Fresno Bee reported that a wrongful death civil trial began Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court. Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday.

The operating surgeon, Dr. Michael Synn, has already settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Nicole Caruso, a health care marketing researcher, wanted to have her IUD birth control device removed and planned on undergoing a tubal ligation. Nicole underwent a total of three procedures at CCMC on April 13th; a hysteroscopy to locate the IUD, removal of the IUD, and a tubal ligation, also known as having your tubes tied.

It was alleged that at some time during the surgery, a needle penetrated Nicole’s left internal iliac artery and left a 3 x 4 millimeter perforation, about the size of a pen point.

Caruso was moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit following the procedure. She remained in the hospital for about 3 hours before being discharged at 6 pm.

Her husband said that he took her home and gave her Vicodin as prescribed by Dr. Pham for pain.  Because Nicole had no relief from the pain, Tom Caruso tried to contact Dr. Synn. He contacted the hospital and told them if his wife continued to be in severe pain and Dr. Synn did not get in touch with them, he would bring his wife back to the hospital.

After he got off the phone, Tom Caruso found Nicole asleep.  He woke her at about 1 am to give her the next dose of Vicodin. When he tried to wake her at 5 am, she was unresponsive. Nicole Caruso went into cardiac arrest and died.

The autopsy showed that just over two quarts of blood had drained out of the punctured artery.

Caruso died at her Clovis home approximately 14 hours after she was discharged from the hospital.

This procedure is almost always performed on an outpatient basis. Why couldn’t the hospital staff or doctors realize that Caruso was experiencing slow internal bleeding?  Nicole bled to death from a very common procedure that is performed, in most cases, without any problems. This procedure unfortunately, cost Nicole Caruso her life.

For more information, feel free to contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

Related Posts