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WOMAN'S SURVIVORS SUE PHYSICIAN AND UTAH VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER

The family of a woman who died at the Utah Valley Medical Center is suing the hospital for allegedly neglecting to treat brain hemorrhaging in time to save her life.

The husband and children of Julia D. Chynoweth filed a suit in U.S. District Court Thursday against the hospital, Intermountain Health Care and emergency-room physician Keith R. Hooker.Chynoweth and her husband, Robert, went to the hospital's emergency room on March 9, 1990, because Chynoweth was suffering nausea, vomiting, severe headache and "recent altered mental status," according to the suit.

Hooker and other hospital staff evaluated Chynoweth, then sent her home, the suit says.

The next day, Chynoweth was rushed to the hospital with intracerebral hemorrhage. She was in a coma and remained that way until she was disconnected from life support two days later and pronounced dead, according to the complaint.

The suit says when Hooker first saw Chynoweth, he negligently and carelessly failed to provide her with quality care.

Hooker failed adequately to assess Chynoweth's condition; failed to perform an adequate physical exam; failed to order appropriate diagnostic tests such as a CT head scan; failed to admit her to the hospital and failed to provide the family with adequate instructions when he sent Chynoweth home from the emergency rooms, according to the suit.

Because of those omissions and others, Hooker provided substandard medical care, the suit says.

Chynweth died because "her condition was misdiagnosed and she was denied necessary treatment for an emergency neurological condition," according to the suit.

The Chynoweths' suit was filed prior to the completion of review by a medical panel called for in state law. The family filed the suit before the review was completed because they were fearful the statute of limitations on their claim would run out if they waited, the suit says.