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images-1John Pluard, 51, fell from an attic and landed on a concrete surface 14 feet below, fracturing his leg and left elbow. Pluard was admitted to Harborview Medical Center where he underwent leg surgery to repair his fractured leg, but not to his arm.

After the surgery, Pluard reported increased pain in his left arm for which he was given morphine. Almost seven hours later, an orthopedic surgeon examined him. The doctor increased his morphine dose and saw him again the next morning. Pluard later lost most of his neuromotor functioning in his hand.  Despite emergency surgery, he does not have a functioning left hand.

Pluard had worked as a carpenter earning about $46,500 per year and has not been able to return to work. He and his wife sued the hospital, maintaining that it chose not to timely diagnose and treat compartment syndrome, which was the source and cause of his arm injury. The jury entered their verdict in favor of both Pluard and his wife for $1.58 million.

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UnknownA Cook County jury signed a verdict after answering a special interrogatory in this medical malpractice case related to the prescription of a drug Adriamycin, which is given to cancer patients for chemotherapy and is known to cause heart damage as one of its risks.

The special interrogatory given to the jury was: “Do you find that the conduct of Dr. Weyburn (the oncologist), as set forth in the (jury) instructions was negligent and that such negligence was a proximate cause of Beata Gorgon’s injuries?”  The answer given by this jury was “No.”

Beata Gorgon, 44, presented to the defendant Dr. Thomas Weyburn, an oncologist, in August 2008 for treatment of Stage 3 breast cancer. Dr. Weyburn prescribed Adriamycin for the chemotherapy regimen. Dr. Weyburn contended in this lawsuit that he ordered an echocardiogram for Gorgon prior to the start of the delivery of the Adriamycin and then elected to start giving the drug before she underwent the test.

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6a00d8341c7ed153ef010535458045970b-500wiDeshawn Gray, 25, suffered a left tibial fracture in a motorcycle accident. He was transferred to St. Joseph Hospital where he was admitted by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jacqueline Mlsna. Dr. Mlsna ordered a femoral nerve block with a postsurgical catheter and then did an open reduction internal fixation surgery to repair the fracture.

Within three hours of the surgery, Gray developed severe pain, paresthesia and paralysis of his left foot and toes. Three hours after that, Gray’s attending nurses notified anesthesiologist Dr. James Maney, who allegedly advised the nurses to tell Dr. Mlsna about Gray’s symptoms. However, the nurses chose not to do that or follow up.

Over the next two days, Dr. Mlsna’s partner, orthopedist Dr. Shawn Tracy, noted that Gray had a numb and motionless foot.  Dr. Dr. Tracy allegedly attributed this to a possible surgical nerve injury.

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Lee Lyman was 51 years old when he underwent successful aortic valve surgery at Sacred Heart River Bend Medical Center.  Anesthesia was provided by Dr. Albert Cho of Northwest Anesthesia, P.C. While in the operating room, Lyman began to experience ventricular fibrillation. He was given electrical shock and prescribed medications, which included 150 milligrams of antiarrhythmic Amiodarone, to be given over a 30-minute period.

Instead of giving the prescribed dose, Dr. Cho gave Lyman 2,700 milligrams of Amiodarone, which came from a combination of 3 separate 900-mg bottles. After Lyman received the excessive dose, his heart stopped pumping adequate blood. This led to anoxic brain damage and partial paralysis. Lyman will need 24-hour per day care for the rest of his life. He had been a millwright earning about $21 per hour before the surgery.

Lyman, through a representative for his disabled person’s estate, brought a lawsuit against the corporation that owned the hospital, Dr. Cho and Northwest Anesthesia claiming negligent administration of an excessive dose of Amiodarone.

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A Will County jury has found that a stroke suffered by the son of Kathy Nakamura was not preventable by anticoagulant treatment by his physicians. In this medical-malpractice lawsuit, it was alleged that several physicians chose not to treat the medical conditions of Kathy Nakamura’s son, Joseph Welsh, which led to his suffering two strokes in five months. He was left with severe mental deficiencies after the second stroke in April 2009.

Welsh was admitted to Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., in November 2008. He was seen by neurologist Konstantine Dzamashvili, M.D. and Rizwan Bajwa, M.D. after he suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot in his brain. Welsh had a history of smoking and hypertension and cholesterol issues. The doctors believe that the blood clot came from somewhere in his neck or his brain stem. They tested Welsh for atherosclerotic heart disease; the test came back negative. When imaging tests were done, it showed that Welsh had a membrane open between the right and left sides of his heart.

Welsh was also tested for Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, which is a hereditary disorder that can increase the risk of blood clots in the veins.

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Mary Leemputte came to the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., in April 25, 2011. She was admitted to this hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, tachycardia or rapid heart rate and an elevated white blood cell count, which often is associated with an infectious process.

She had a history of chronic constipation and was diagnosed with a large bowel obstruction after a CT scan showed a large bulging at the site of a previous colon resection and anastomosis done in 2007.

One of the defendants, Dr. Jonathan Wallace, provided a surgical consultation that night. The doctor observed that her cecum was dilated as he reviewed the CT scan, determined her clinical presentation did not require immediate surgical intervention and ordered additional tests for further evaluation to take place the next morning.

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Danielle Reardon underwent endoscopic sinus surgery with bilateral septoplasty at Tinley Woods Surgery Center in Tinley Park, Ill., on Dec. 7, 2005. The surgery was completed by the defendant, Dr. Joseph Gavron, who is an otolaryngologist. Dr. Gavron was to treat Reardon’s chronic pansinusitis and deviated nasal septum. At the end of the surgery, Dr. Gavron packed her nose with gel, foam and gauze soaked in a topical antibiotic. No oral post-op antibiotics were prescribed by Dr. Gavron.

She experienced what were described as unbearable headaches while recovering the next day. With no relief from the headaches, she took two doses of Vicodin. Continuing with the unbearable headaches, Reardon called 911 and was transported by ambulance to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., where she given two doses of morphine and the antibiotic Unasyn.

She later became unresponsive with an altered state of consciousness. She was then treated empirically with broad spectrum antibiotics for bacterial meningitis.

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Thirteen-year-old Doe became ill and developed a high fever. Doe’s mother brought him to a Kaiser Permanente Urgent Care facility where Doe underwent testing. Before all the tests were returned, Doe was discharged and told to see his primary care physician in a week or two. It was revealed that one of the tests indicated a high sedimentation rate. There was no follow-up regarding this test result.

Doe’s condition worsened over the next week. He was brought into a hospital emergency room where testing showed lesions on his brain. Doe suffered a stroke during surgery, which necessitated another surgery as well as physical therapy and other treatment.

Fortunately, Doe has made a complete recovery. Doe sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan alleging that it chose not to timely diagnose the sinus infection.

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Business owner Kevin Orr, 42, went to a hospital emergency room complaining of dizziness, headache and inability to stand. A CT scan, interpreted by the radiologist and defendant, Dr. James Bell, showed blockage of blood vessels supplying blood to Orr’s brain. However, this was not reported by the physician’s assistant who ordered the scan.

Dr. Bell concluded that the CT scan was normal and showed only sinusitis. Orr was diagnosed as having a sinus infection and was then discharged.

Orr returned to his primary care physician’s office in the next two weeks and reported vomiting and headaches. The physician’s assistant again diagnosed sinusitis. Three weeks after Orr’s emergency room visit, he suffered a massive stroke resulting in permanent disability, including impaired gait, facial pain and tingling, and arm and leg numbness.

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John Doe, 48, had a history of hypertension, high cholesterol and smoking. When he experienced shortness of breath and chest tightness, he went to a local hospital emergency room where he underwent an EKG.  Dr. Roe, an emergency room physician, allegedly interpreted the EKG as “fairly normal” and instructed Doe to see his primary care physician as soon as possible and then obtain a cardiac consultation.

Two days later, Doe returned to the emergency room after suffering acute chest pain. Tests revealed an acute thrombus of the left anterior descending coronary artery and other cardiac disease.

Although Doe underwent an angioplasty and stenting, Doe died several months later of organ failure. He had been a corporate controller earning $117,000 per year. Doe was survived by his wife.

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