The story reports that Erie’s Hamot Medical Center is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit that claims the hospital wrongly identifies itself as a trauma center, and that the hospital’s lack of preparedness for treating trauma victims led to the unnecessary death of a 2008 motorcycle crash victim. John P. Heynoski suffered blood loss that eventually led to his death while waiting for a helicopter to transport him to a different hospital.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges the hospital ran out of blood while treating Mr. Heynoski for his injuries and that it did not have qualified staff available to treat the patient’s pelvic injuries. The hospital supposedly gave Mr. Heynoski transfusions of the wrong types of blood while waiting two hours on a helicopter transport.
On July 24, 2008, Mr. Heynoski was rushed to Hamot after a motorcycle accident. The collision happened after another motorist pulled in front of Mr. Heynoski’s motorcycle. Mr. Heynoski arrived at Hamot Medical Center conscious and talking.
Doctors at Hamot initially planned to operate, but the radiologist on hand admitted to being uncomfortable working on pelvic vascular injuries. Ultimately, Hamot doctors decided to transfer Mr. Heynoski to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. According to the lawsuit, this second facility could have provided him with adequate amounts of blood and qualified doctors.
Helicopter transport was delayed due to mechanical problems and inclement weather. While waiting for the helicopter, Mr. Heynoski, who had O-negative blood, received multiple transfusions of O-negative, O-positive and AB-positive blood until the supplies were exhausted.
Mr. Heynoski died just as the helicopter arrived to take him to Pittsburgh, the lawsuit claims.