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Monday, July 21, 2014

Woman seeks $2 million in damages from Nashua’s St. Joseph Hospital

NASHUA – A Massachusetts woman is suing a city hospital for $2 million nearly three years after her mother died of a heart attack she says doctors should have stopped.

Mariann Gobbi filed a suit against St. Joseph Hospital on behalf of her mother, Ann Blanchette’s, estate. Blanchette, 59, suffered a fatal heart attack Aug. 13, 2011, more than six hours after going to the emergency room, according to documents filed at the U.S. District Court in Concord. ...

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NASHUA – A Massachusetts woman is suing a city hospital for $2 million nearly three years after her mother died of a heart attack she says doctors should have stopped.

Mariann Gobbi filed a suit against St. Joseph Hospital on behalf of her mother, Ann Blanchette’s, estate. Blanchette, 59, suffered a fatal heart attack Aug. 13, 2011, more than six hours after going to the emergency room, according to documents filed at the U.S. District Court in Concord.

The suit names two emergency room physicians, Dr. James Martin and Dr. Anuradha Shah, as well as the hospital itself and Greater Nashua Emergency Physicians, according to court records.

The hospital has denied any responsibility for Blanchette’s death in its response to the suit, which was filed earlier this summer. A hospital spokesperson said the hospital will not comment on ongoing litigation.

Blanchette was visiting Gobbi on Aug. 12, 2011, when she complained about pain in her neck and right arm. She went to the St. Joseph emergency room around 6:30 p.m. and was admitted about an hour later, according to the suit.

She told doctors she had Type II diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure and took insulin. The medical history didn’t include questions about a history of family heart disease or that her sister had recently suffered a heart attack, according to the suit.

Gobbi claims doctors failed to consider that her mother was suffering a heart attack despite her symptoms, as well as tests results, including elevated blood sugar and white blood cell counts, according to court documents.

It wasn’t until around 12:30 a.m. the next day, Aug. 13, that a nurse suggested an EKG, which revealed about six hours after she arrived at the hospital that Blanchette was having a heart attack, according to Gobbi’s suit.

Blanchette’s heart stopped just before 1 a.m., and she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later. A nurse comforting Gobbi after she was told of her mother’s death said, “This never should have happened,” according to the suit.

Gobbi’s suit charges that Shah and Martin contributed to Blanchette’s death because they failed to diagnose or even consider that she was having a heart attack. The hospital and Greater Nashua Emergency Physicians are liable because there should have been policies and procedures in place to prevent such alleged oversights, according to the suit.

Gobbi is charging Martin, Shah and St. Joseph with medical negligence and is charging St. Joseph and Greater Nashua Emergency Physicians with negligent employment, according to court records.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).