A judge refused to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit against a New York hospital over a birth control drug injury. An expert testified that a nurse practitioner at Montefiore Medical Center should have told teenager Sarah Adams to remove a contraceptive device called NuvaRing after she complained of chest pains.
NuvaRing is a combined hormonal contraceptive which is associated with a risk of blood clots.
Missed Chances to Prevent Drug Injury
A nurse practitioner prescribed NuvaRing to Adams in 2010 when she sought advice for birth control options at a clinic that Montefiore hospital runs at her school. She returned to the clinic two months later complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. A doctor diagnosed her with asthma. She had no prior history of respiratory problems, according to her personal injury attorney.
The next day, doctors failed to check for blood clots when Adams went to the emergency room with the same symptoms. The day after that Adams returned to the school clinic, still complaining of chest pain. Doctors diagnosed inflammation of the rib cage.
Adams collapsed a week later from cardiac arrest. Doctors discovered that she had formed a blood clot that went to her lungs. She suffered significant brain damage from the drug injury and spent a month in the hospital.
Last month Montefiore argued to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit filed on behalf of Adams. But the doctor who testified as an expert witness told the court that “if the nurse practitioner had … removed the NuvaRing, and referred plaintiff for further assessment, all of the subsequent injuries and complications suffered by plaintiff would have been avoided.”
The court said that the girl’s family could also raise questions about why the hospital did not diagnose and treat the blood clot sooner.