Malpractice Case Against St. Mary’s Hospital Featured in Waterbury Republican-American

Woman’s estate sues Saint Mary’s hospital

WATERBURY — The estate of a 78-year-old woman who died following surgery is suing Saint Mary’s Hospital, claiming a surgical resident’s inaction caused her death.

Sylvia I. Perreault, of Wolcott, died in December 2008 after a misplaced or dislodged tracheal tube led to a lack of oxygen in her system, the suit claims.

Perreault, a widow and former employee of Devon Precision Products, was admitted to the hospital for a surgical procedure to repair a portion of the bone in her forehead that was infected, according to John Houlihan, an attorney for Perreault’s estate.

Following that surgery, she was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where, according to, to the suit, a tube was placed in her throat.

At about 10 p.m. on the night she was admitted, the suit states, Perreault became deprived of oxygen because the tube had been improperly placed in her throat or had become dislodged. The suit claims a second-year surgical resident caring for Perreault didn’t pick up on signs that the tube wasn’t functioning properly.

Perreault suffered a heart attack and brain damage following the oxygen deprivation and died about a week later, according to the suit, which was filed this week in Waterbury Superior Court.

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