Duletsky returns to the stand in wrongful death trial
summit daily news
BRECKENRIDGE ” Former Frisco doctor Patricia Duletsky returned to the stand Wednesday morning to complete the cross-examination portion of her testimony, which began Tuesday afternoon.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Hollynd Hoskins, questioned Duletsky about Susanna Martins’ late-night trip to Summit Medical Center five weeks before her death. Although Duletsky did not care for Martens on that evening, she referred to medical records to answer the questions.
Duletsky, a former Frisco doctor, is being sued by Martens’ husband, Rob Small, for the wrongful deaths of Martens and their unborn baby girl.
The $1.5 million lawsuit is being tried in Summit District Court in front of Judge Terry Ruckriegle.
Martens was 36-and-a-half weeks pregnant when she died from a cardiac arrest triggered by a bacterial infection in her uterus on March 15, 2000. Her baby girl died in utero about an hour before Martens.
On Feb. 5, 2000, Martens complained of feeling ill and experiencing uterine contractions. She was 31 weeks pregnant at the time she first complained of problems. She was given Terbutaline, a drug to stop contractions.
The plaintiff’s attorneys are arguing that Terbutaline played a role in Martens’ death. One potential risk of taking the drug is pulmonary edema, or liquid in the lungs, which showed up in Martens’ autopsy, according to plaintiff’s attorneys.
On the evening of her death in March, Duletsky ordered two doses of Terbutaline to stop Martins’ contractions.
The defense also called a pathologist to the stand, who testified Martens’ baby was infected by Group A strep before Martens herself was infected.
A medical techologist from the Summit Medical Center laboratory also testified that the lab processed blood-test results “relatively quickly” on the evening of her death.
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