Bon Secours to pay $2.23M in malpractice verdict following patient death

A Virginia jury has awarded a $2.23 million malpractice verdict against Mechanicsville, Va.-based Bon Secours Surgical Specialists, Bon Secours DePaul Hospital in Norfolk, Va., and a former Bon Secours surgeon for medical negligence leading to the death of a patient in 2018. 

Patient Robyn Stead, 58, died from multiple organ failure due to septic shock after a procedure at DePaul Hospital. 

Ms. Stead, a former nurse at DePaul Hospital, was seen by a surgeon from Surgical Specialists after developing abdominal pain. The surgeon recommended a colon resection surgery to remove part of her colon. 

Her initial surgery was described as uneventful, but four days later Ms. Stead's blood test revealed a spike in white blood cells, indicating she was fighting a new infection. Five days after the procedure, her levels reached nine times the normal range. 

Surgeons did not initiate an antibiotic order or order an abdominal CT scan, according to an April 10 press release from the law firm representing Ms. Stead's family. 

A CT scan would have shown that Ms. Stead's intestinal area had a leak that spread to the abdominal cavity and right thigh, the news release said. 

Surgeons allegedly took more than 40 hours to identify sepsis, and four days after enduring several post-operative surgeries, she died due to the effects of fast-spreading septic shock. 

Prior to the trial, the surgeon admitted that the intestinal leak caused the sepsis, but she and her colleague denied negligent responsibility and denied a delay in medical care. 

After five days of testimony and five hours of deliberation, the jury found that two treating physicians from Bon Secours Surgical Specialists breached the standard of medical care. 

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