This is a Utah medical malpractice case alleging a failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction by an emergency physician resulting in eventual loss of her colon and other injuries.
Rebecca Heath had her gallbladder removed on April 9, 2015. Two days later she was admitted to the Emergency Department at Utah Valley Hospital with complaints of abdominal pain, constipation and vomiting. She was evaluated by Dr. Taylor Kallas. A CT showed a massively distended colon likely associated with chronic constipation and a possible fecal impaction. Dr. Kallas determine the best course was to discharge Ms. Heath home with enemas, stool softeners and other medications with instructions to return if her condition worsened.
Unfortunately, the treatments at home were unsuccessful, and Ms. Heath returned to the ED ten hours later in poor condition. She was assessed with septic shock, and emergency exploratory surgery was performed. During the surgery, she suffered a cardiac arrest, but was revived. She was ultimately diagnosed with an ischemic colon caused by abdominal compartment syndrome. It was necessary to remove a large portion of her bowel.
The complaint alleges that Dr. Kallas erred in discharging Ms. Heath- that he should have kept her and obtained a surgical consult. That, it is claimed, would have prevented ischemia and the bowel damage.
The evidence begins in the morning, and the trial is scheduled through September 17th.