GRETNA – A woman is suing a psychiatric hospital for medical malpractice after she allegedly suffered a severe stroke while in its care.

Mary Fitzpatrick filed suit against River Oaks Inc., River Oaks Hospital, River Oaks Child and Adolescent Hospital and Mack R. Holdiness, M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 20.

Fitzpatrick asserts she was transferred from Tulane Hospital to River Oaks Hospital on Dec. 6, 2009 for suicidal ideation, depression and problems in her marriage. The plaintiff claims she that on admission it was noted that she had high blood pressure and she was still placed on anti-depressant Paxil as well as anta-buse for alcohol abuse. Fitzpatrick alleges that between Dec. 7 and 9, 2009, heightened blood pressure readings were taken and on Dec. 9 she consulted with Holdiness about her blood pressure issues.

The plaintiff asserts that on Dec. 13, 2009 she began complaining of severe headache, blurred vision, unsteady walking and nausea and her blood pressure was recorded at its highest level yet. Fitzpatrick claims she was given a dose of Capoten to lower her blood pressure, but it had little effect. Afterward the plaintiff alleges she was seen by Holdiness who did not order further medication, but had her transferred to a nearby emergency room.

Fitzpatrick alleges she had a stroke on the way to the emergency room and was hospitalized for 11 days afterward and had to undergo physical therapy for a long period afterward. The plaintiff asserts her condition was caused in part by poor care provided to her by the defendants.

The defendant is accused of medical malpractice.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, permanent disability, blindness, past lost income, loss of earning capacity, lost income and loss of enjoyment of life.

Fitzpatrick is represented by by Metairie-based Mark W. Smith of Mark W. Smith & Associates PLC.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.

Case no. 738-638.  

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