Closing statements begin today in medical malpractice lawsuit |

Closing statements begin today in medical malpractice lawsuit

BRECKENRIDGE – The jury is expected to begin deliberations today on the $1.5 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a former Frisco doctor. The testimony portion of the trial, which is being presented in Summit County’s district court, ended Friday.Silverthorne resident Rob Small is suing Dr. Patricia Duletsky for the wrongful deaths of his wife, Susanna Martens, and the couple’s unborn baby girl.Martens was 36-and-a-half weeks pregnant when she went to Duletsky’s office at 6 p.m. on March 14, 2000. Martens had vomited, felt two uterine contractions and was feeling ill. Duletsky also determined she had a temperature of 101.2 degrees. Duletsky diagnosed Martens with the stomach flu and sent her home. Martens checked into the Summit Medical Center several hours later when her symptoms persisted. She and the baby died early the next morning. Martens’ cause of death was a cardiac arrest triggered by the rare bacterial infection Group A streptococcus. The plaintiff’s main argument is that Duletsky did not meet the standard of care for a family practice physician because she did not administer antibiotics to Martens at anytime during the evening she died.Several expert witnesses argued that even one dose of antibiotics could have saved the life of Martens and her baby.Witnesses called by the plaintiff also testified that Duletsky’s orders to administer two doses of Terbutaline to Martens caused her pulmonary edema.Pulmonary edema ensues when a patient’s lungs fill with liquid and is a risk of Terbutaline, a drug used to stop pre-term contractions.The defense is arguing that Duletsky never had any indication that antibiotics were needed and that Martens’ symptoms were consistent with the stomach flu.Defense witnesses testified that Duletsky’s order for Terbutaline was typical and did not contribute to Martens’ death.Both lawyers will make their closing statements today. The jury will then receive instructions agreed upon by both lawyers from Judge Terry Ruckriegle, on guidelines to follow when deciding the outcome of the trial, followed by deliberations.

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