Wood County hospital, doctor named in wrongful death suit

By Lawrence Smith | Feb 15, 2010

PARKERSBURG - A Jackson County man alleges a Wood County hospital, and physician are responsible for the death of this wife.

Joshua L. Lupardus Sr. filed suit in Wood Circuit Court against Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Edmond L. Pasternak III. In his suit filed on Jan. 29, Lupardus,69, a Sandyville resident, alleges both Pasternak and C-CMH personnel failed to properly treat Zelma during her visit to the emergency room in 2008 which consequently resulted in her death.

According to the suit, Zelma was transported by ambulance on Jan. 31, 2008, to C-CMH "complaining of increasing shortness of breath, left side abdominal pain and weakness." Earlier in the day, she fell in her bathroom, and struck her head causing her to briefly loose consciousness.

Upon arriving at the emergency room, Lupardus was examined by Pasternak, who recommended she return home, and begin physical therapy despite a decrease in her blood pressure and oxygen saturation rate, and a high heart rate. The suit does not specify who, but family members insisted she be admitted to C-CMH.

Sometime thereafter, Lupardus was prepped for a CT scan. Both before and while she was in the scanner, she was given an injection of Ativan to help her relax.

Shortly after the second dose of Ativan, the suit alleges, she quit breathing. Though she was resuscitated, and transferred to the critical care unit, she quit breathing again, and subsequently died.

According to her death certificate, Lupardus, 63, died from sepsis as a result of metabolic acids, and shock. Often called systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or SIRS, sepsis is an inflammation of the whole body due to the presence of a known or suspected infection.

Dr. Terrance A. Gilbert, who signed Lupardus' death certificate, determined she died from natural causes.

In his three-count complaint, Joshua accuses both Pasternak, and C-CMH of negligence in "fail[ing] to provide appropriate medical care to ... Zelma ... in a timely fashion resulting in her death." Among other things, he said Pasternak, and the C-CMH staff who also treated Zelma, did not "recognize, evaluate, and treat life threatening signs and symptoms" which included "syncope, head injury, dyspnea, and abdominal pain, in the setting of hypoxia, severe hypotension and shock."

Lupardus' third claim against Pasternak, and C-CMH is for his loss of consortium with Zelma. He seeks unspecified damages, court costs and interest.

He is represented by Parkersburg attorney George J. Cosenza. The case is assigned to Judge Robert A. Waters.

Wood Circuit Court case number 10-C-31

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