On June 6, 2010, Edward “Rob” Robinson of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was retired from the U.S. Army and National Guard. He served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
He was also retired from Rheem in Fort Smith after thirty-six years and six months where he received several honors for his many years of service as a welder. He and his wife, Carolyn, had been married for 40 years, 4 months and 25 days, and raised two children, Golda and Edward Lee.
When called to active duty for Operation Desert Storm, due to his age, the Sargent was told that he could decline to be sent to war, however Rob told his family that he would go …so that “maybe some young person wouldn’t have to.” Rob was a husband, a father, a gentleman and a citizen soldier who repeatedly risked his life for all of us. He was a hero in many respects and deserved to be treated as one.
On June 5, 2010, Rob was taken to the emergency department at a large hospital in Fort Smith by Carolyn and their daughter, Golda, after several days of being very sick. He had prostate cancer, yet he still had two to three years to live. His INR was very high, literally “off the chart.” INR measures the body’s ability to stop bleeding through coagulation. A high INR is extremely dangerous because if the patient has any bleeding at all, it will not stop, and the patient will bleed to death. The admitting doctor ordered “STAT” Vitamin K and “STAT” FFP (fresh frozen plasma) to lower his INR. Vitamin K helps the body develop blood coagulation ability and FFP gives the blood immediate coagulation ability. Put differently, FFP is a quick but temporary remedy, while Vitamin K is a slower acting long term solution. (Most medical professionals will tell you that “STAT” means “sooner than now.”)
Rob was admitted to the hospital and seven hours later he received the Vitamin K but he never received the FFP. The following morning, just after a doctor had been summoned to his room and told that the STAT orders had not been carried out, Rob Robinson coded and died.
A completely preventable tragedy.
According to our causation expert from the Cleveland Clinic, Rob began to hemorrhage at approximately 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 6, 2010, and bled to death. The autopsy confirmed that he died from a massive hemorrhage. Seventeen hours after STAT life-saving FFP had been ordered …he literally bled to death in about an hour. This would not have happened if the doctor’s order had been carried out.
We contended, and provided expert testimony to establish, that the hospital nursing staff was negligent, plain and simple. In fact, it was never disputed that the day shift and night shift nurses all knew of the “STAT” FFP order, but unbelievably, seventeen hours passed with no one carrying out the order.
We were extremely proud to represent Carolyn and her family in fighting for justice for Edward Robinson’s family and estate. No one was more deserving of the best health care our country could offer than Rob.
After nearly a year of litigation, a confidential settlement was reached with the hospital and the employer of one of Rob’s nurses, just three weeks before a jury would have decided the case. Carolyn and Golda Robinson and their family will always be near and dear to our hearts!