A federal malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Duke University Health System and a Durham community health center for their medical treatment of a woman who died from undiagnosed embolisms, according to a report by the Durham Herald Sun. 

Christina Ceci died at Duke Regional Hospital nearly six weeks after seeking treatment from the Lincoln Community Health Center for shortness of breath and numbness and weakness in her knees, according to the report. 

At a follow-up check up after her initial visit, a physician's assistant at the Lincoln center thought the symptoms might have an anxiety component. 

But around the time Ceci was supposed to come in for a second follow-up she suffered “chest and abdominal pain while sitting at her desk at work” and was sent to the emergency room at Duke Regional Hospital. 

The Herald Sun report's noted that the hospital—a county-owned facility leased to Duke—ran tests on her but she suffered a seizure after one of them and later died. 

The autopsy revealed multiple blockages of her Ceci’s pulmonary arteries, one of which had likely been there for two months or more. 

After she was rushed to Duke Regional, doctors there identified abnormalities that they thought warranted further checks. Tests showed symptoms that can signify heart disease or embolisms. The suit includes wrongful death claims against Duke. 

The suit had been pending in state court since May, but it became a federal case in October after the lawyers in a U.S. Attorney’s office claimed that three of the medical staff at the Lincoln center are employees of the U.S. Public Health Service. 

A spokesperson for the Health System declined to comment. 

Sam Turken contributed reporting.