The family of a woman who went into the hospital for a one-day surgery has settled a wrongful death claim filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of her estate for $2,500,000, according to Corboy & Demetrio partner Susan J. Schwartz, the lawyer for the family.
Laura Kraska, 40, legally blind since birth, worked out of her home in Downers Grove as a billings system consultant. On May 29, 2009, she had minimally invasive surgery at Loyola University Medical Center to remove a cyst on her ovary, believed to be the cause of unrelenting abdominal pain, according to the lawsuit. Dr. Katherine D. Matta, a hospital employee gynecologist, found dense adhesions requiring a difficult dissection of the bowel during surgery, according to medical records. No complications were noted or appreciated by her, said Schwartz.
As medical records show, Laura’s anticipated discharge within 23 hours did not occur when she complained of severe abdominal pain in spite of narcotic pain control. Late in the afternoon of May 30, 2009, her heart rate increased, and she had shortness of breath, according to medical records. An abdominal CT ordered by Dr. Freager Williams, another Loyola employee gynecologist, showed fluid and a possible bowel obstruction according to medical records. A lung study ruled out a pulmonary embolus. None of the ordered tests ruled out a perforation of the colon, a known complication of the surgery Laura had, according to those records.
According to medical records, nly after Laura’s blood pressure dropped very low to dangerous levels, early in the morning on May 31, 2009, a surgeon examined her. It was immediately determined that she needed more surgery. During that surgery, at 6:00 a.m. on May 31, 2009, two holes were found in the intestines, one in the large bowel and one in the small bowel, according to the lawsuit.
Unfortunately, on the operating room table, prior to induction of anesthesia, Laura went into cardiac arrest, according to the lawsuit. After surgery, Laura was ventilator dependent with fixed and dilated pupils. She had no meaningful brain function. After removal from the ventilator, she died on June 2, 2009, according to the lawsuit.
According to Susan J. Schwartz:
Laura Kraska is survived by her mother, Carol Hofmann, her father, Thomas Kraska, her brother, Timothy Kraska, and her sister, Kristen Schneider.
Case Information: Thomas Kraska, Independent Administrator of the Estate of Laura Kraska, Deceased v. Loyola University Medical Center, 2010 L 2270, filed in Cook County.