While the death of a young person is always tragic, it is especially difficult to bear when there is reason to believe that it could have been prevented. This is the reality that a Pennsylvania couple had to face when their 26-year-old daughter Jennifer died last May while receiving medical treatment. According to news reports, Jennifer had recently graduated from medical school when she went into a Wilkes-Barre hospital over the weekend of Memorial Day. She died approximately two days later. Earlier this month, her parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that their daughter’s death was the result of a series of medical errors, hospital negligence and inadequate staffing over the holiday weekend. Jennifer had gone into the hospital complaining of serious headaches that had persisted for about 10 days. It is now understood that her headaches were the result of a blood clot in her brain; which is a known risk associated with the hormonal vaginal ring contraceptive she used. According to the complaint, hospital staff failed to take a proper medical history and did not conduct any head imaging until approximately 40 hours after she first came into the emergency room. By the time that proper tests were conducted and an accurate diagnosis began to develop, her condition had worsened considerably. Eventually, she suffered irreversible brain damage and lapsed into a coma. She died shortly after being taken off of life support. This case shows how critical it is to make a timely diagnosis and provide immediate medical intervention when a patient enters the emergency room. Although Jennifer’s condition was life-threatening when she came in, it likely did not have to be fatal. Source: Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, “Malpractice suit filed in young doctor’s death,” Jerry Lynott, Jan. 8, 2014