Wrongful Death Lawsuit against St. Agnes Medical Center

July 24, 2008 8:34:03 PM PDT
It was suppose to be a simple procedure at Saint Agnes Hospital, but a local family claims they lost their loved one to a nasty infection. Now they've filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Recently, Saint Agnes hospital has faced a dramatic increase in infections forcing it to shut down some surgeries for a short time.Hundreds of children learned from Carole Brammer over her 30 years of teaching at Fresno Unified. Brammer's family said she went to Saint Agnes Medical Center in October for a hernia operation. According to a wrongful death lawsuit, Brammer contracted the "super bug" known as MRSA. Then a month later the document claims Brammer died. The family blames the Saint Agnes staff for negligent conduct.

David Luchini works with the Fresno County Health Department. He said, "Historically, MRSA was mostly seen in the hospital." They didn't investigate Brammer's death, but he explains hospital patients are susceptible to MRSA, "The only way it gets into you is a break in the skin. Our skin is a great barrier, but once you have a cut then there's a way the organisms can get inside."

Saint Agnes has a history with infection outbreaks. In May, the state health department suspended all cardiac surgeries because of numerous post operation infections. It's unknown if Brammer's death is related.

A hospital spokesperson said they are unaware of this lawsuit, and they won't comment. But ABC 30's Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said this could be a major hurdle for a hospital already facing many problems, "When you have the state public health department suspending their right to conduct surgeries because of infections, I think the inference is there already that the hospital was negligent."

Capozzi said Brammer's family must prove she contracted the bacteria at Saint Agnes. The family declined to comment but they're adamant their mother didn't have to die from a simple procedure.

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