Family of Jeannette man sues Excela Health, doctor, alleging wrongful death |
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Rich Cholodofsky

The family of a Jeannette man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Excela Health and one of its doctors claiming he died from an allergic reaction to medication given during a heart procedure in 2017.

According to the lawsuit filed in Westmoreland County, the five children of John P. Bednot contend their father was administered the anticoagulant drug, heparin, even though his medical history noted that he was allergic to the medication. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from the hospital, Excela Health Cardio-Thoracic Surgical Associates and Dr. Elizabeth Detschelt.

Excela Health does not comment on pending litigation, a spokeswoman said. Detschelt did not respond to a request for comment.

In the lawsuit, the family said Bednot was diagnosed with a heparin allergy in 2009, which had been noted in his medical records.

In April 2017, Bednot, 84, was hospitalized at Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg after he developed gangrene-like symptoms near his right foot. After a consultation with a vascular surgeon, doctors referred Bednot to Detschelt, a cardiac vascular physician. She performed an angiogram in May in which she used two anticoagulant drugs rather than heparin.

Doctors scheduled Bednot to undergo bypass surgery days later and planned to use heparin during that procedure, according to the lawsuit.

“Rather than test for the heparin allergy or postpone the procedure until the existence of such allergy could be determined, Dr. Detschelt asked Mr. Bednot’s daughters whether Mr. Bednot had a heparin allergy,” according to the lawsuit.

His daughters could not remember or had no definitive information about a suspected allergy and the drug was used during the procedure, the lawsuit said.

Bednot went into cardiac arrest shortly after he received heparin on May 24, his procedure was aborted and he died a day later, according to the lawsuit.

The court filing claims the hospital and doctor were negligent in administering the drug to Bednot and failed to properly train its staff and doctors to assess and treat patients with drug allergies. The lawsuit also contends the doctor improperly relied on Bednot’s children, who were not medically trained, to determine if an allergy existed.

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