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Surgical Error Leads To $3 Million Settlement For South Carolina Family

Posted on Apr 16, 2009
WSOC reports that seven doctors have finally reached a wrongful death settlement in the case of Heather Sloan, who died after complications from surgery in 2005. Sloan's three children will receive $3.25 million from a number of physicians at Chester Regional Medical Center in South Carolina after Sloan was misdiagnosed several times for a twisted intestine.

In 2002, Sloan had gastric bypass surgery at the same hospital and suffered a number of complications. On March 7, 2005, she visited the emergency room three times, complaining about horrible stomach pains. After CT scans, she was sent home with treatments for constipation.

By the time her twisted intestine was discovered in surgery, blood had been cut off from that organ and her intestines had shut down. Suffering from "dead bowel," the 28-year-old mother died a few hours later. If the condition had been caught earlier, the organ would not have died and the patient could have had a normal recovery.

"I still can't believe it's happened to her and that she's gone," said Sloan's mother, Kay Sloan. "It's awful what we have lived through."

The doctors involved in the following wrongful death lawsuit were Robert Reuter, Peter Stangas, Robert Salman, Anthony Smith, Alex Espinal, Pratiba Rout and Isom Loawman. The family also received $250,000 last year in a settlement with the hospital.

The doctors were charged with being negligent in their treatment of the gastric bypass patient and in misreading CT scans in the emergency room.

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