Woman sues Greenbrier Emergency Services, two physicians for daughter's death

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 10, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A Dunbar woman claiming Greenbrier Emergency Services and two of its employees were negligence in caring for her daughter is suing for her wrongful death.

On May 23, 2008, Kara Ann McGrew, 19, was presented to the emergency department of Thomas Memorial Hospital with complaints of stabbing chest pain, shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, according to a complaint filed Jan. 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

At the time, McGrew was one month postpartum. A chest x-ray showed an enlarged heart and an EKG revealed sinus tachycardia with of 127 and acute changes showing flipped t-waves in the lateral waves of the EKG, according to the suit.

McGrew's mother, Christina Lynn McGrew claims the EKG was abnormal and alarming.

Dr. Robert L. Andras, an emergency medicine physician, administered IV fluids, diagnosed she was suffering from a urinary tract infection and discharged Kara McGrew.

Two days later Kara McGrew went back to the emergency department showing signs of shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and was admitted to the telemetry unit by Dr. Keith I. Adams, according to the suit.

Mrs. McGrew claims Adams ordered a cardiac consult and echocardiogram, but it did not occur until more than 24 hours later, when Kara McGrew was diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy. Kara McGrew was then transferred to the Cleveland Clinic, where she remained until her death on July 26, 2008.

Mrs. McGrew claims Adams and Andras failed to diagnose and treat her daughter's postpartum cardiomyopathy the first day she was presented to them.

Mrs. McGrew is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for Kara McGrew's wrongful death. She is being represented by William M. Tiano of Berthold, Tiano & O'Dell.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-129

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