WILKES-BARRE — A Pittston woman’s family has filed a lawsuit alleging the woman’s sepsis-related death in January 2016 was the result of negligent care she received following a routine colostomy reversal.
The family of the late Pasqualina Parente, 78, has sued Dr. Imran Saeed, who performed the procedure at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, which is part of the Commonwealth Health network.
The complaint was filed this week by attorneys Kevin C. Quinn, Michael Lombardo and Nicole Santo of Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn, P.C., Kingston, on behalf of Mrs. Parente’s surviving husband of 57 years, Angelo Parente, and four children — Angelina Morgan, Carmella Oliveri, Pietro Parente and Samuel Parente.
Renita Fennick, spokesperson for the hospital, declined comment, saying, “It is our practice not to comment on pending litigation.”
The lawsuit alleges Mrs. Parente’s death could have been avoided if Dr. Saaed and others involved in her care following a January 2016 surgical procedure “recognized and timely reacted to clear signs that Dr. Saeed’s surgical connection of Mrs. Parente’s bowel was splitting open … and that Mrs. Parente was literally being poisoned to death over a period of several days as the stool contents of her intestines spilled into her abdomen.”
According to the complaint, Dr. Saeed performed a temporary colostomy on Mrs. Parente in October 2015 and Mrs. Parente was doing fine and was able to return to work at the family business, Parente’s Restaurant and Deli in Pittston, without complication.
The complaint further alleges, however, that when she returned to WBGH on Jan. 12, 2016, for a scheduled routine colostomy reversal performed by Dr. Saeed, the outcome “was far different for Mrs. Parente.”
The suit alleges that in the days following the Jan. 12 surgery by Dr. Saeed, Mrs. Parente, while still a patient at WBGH, developed a persistent fever and increased white blood cell count. Mrs. Parente was then given antibiotics for a presumed urinary tract infection, but multiple urine cultures were negative for any signs of bacterial growth, the lawsuit states.
The complaint alleges that on Jan. 19, 2016, without the source of her brewing infection being identified and without her white blood cell count being re-checked, Mrs. Parente was prematurely discharged from WBGH and began receiving home health care by her family and Care Givers of America.
On Jan. 20 and 21, 2016, Mrs. Parente’s family placed multiple calls to Dr. Saeed’s office and provided updates on Mrs. Parente’s deteriorating condition, but were told each time they did not need to be concerned, that Mrs. Parente did not need to be brought back to WBGH, and that Dr. Saeed would see Mrs. Parente in his office on Jan. 22, the complaint states.
But by the early afternoon of Jan. 21, Mrs. Parente’s family members had seen enough and decided they could no longer follow the advice they had received from Dr. Saeed’s office. They instead took Mrs. Parente to WBGH’s Emergency Room, where the rupture of the connected bowel performed by Dr. Saeed nine days earlier was discovered, the filing says.
According to the suit, Dr. Saeed attempted to correct his surgical error on the evening of Jan. 21, 2016, “but things got even worse from there.”
Mrs. Parente should never have been discharged from WBGH on Jan. 19, 2016, and because Dr. Saeed’s surgical error was not earlier recognized and corrected, Mrs. Parente suffered septic shock and a host of related injuries, including hypoxic respiratory failure, pulmonary embolisms in both lungs, bleeding into her abdomen and a devastating stroke, the complaint alleges.
On Jan. 30, 2016, after being flown to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Mrs. Parente died from sepsis-related “respiratory failure and stroke,” the lawyers say.
In addition to Dr. Saeed, also named as defendants are Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, P.C.; Guy M. Fasciana, M.D., Intermountain Medical Group Inc.; Ewa Lew, M.D., Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company; and Community Health Systems, all alleged to be acting individually and/or through various entities and agents.
The complaint, filed in Luzerne County Court, includes wrongful death and survival claims as well as claims for emotional distress suffered by Mrs. Parente’s surviving husband and children. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages against all defendants.