Articles Posted in Hospital Errors

At issue in this case, which ended in the Idaho Supreme Court, was whether the jury’s verdict would stand. A medical malpractice lawsuit was brought by Leila Brauner against AHC of Boise d/b/a Aspen Transitional Rehab (Aspen). The lawsuit arose out of Aspen’s delay in sending Brauner to the hospital following her knee replacement surgery, which was a substantial factor resulting in the amputation of her right leg above the knee at mid-thigh.

After a jury trial, a verdict in favor of Brauner was signed by the jury in the amount of $2,265,204 in damages.

Aspen appealed, alleging that various pre-trial and post-trial rulings were in error and resulted in an unsustainable judgment.
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Audene Moxley was taken by an ambulance from her home to Piedmont Medical Center. A nurse determined that she was at high risk for developing pressure ulcers and ordered preventive measures, including repositioning the patient every two hours.

Over Moxley’s 9-day hospitalization at this facility, she was left in the same position for multiple hours on many occasions. Although a nurse noted that Moxley had a suspected deep tissue injury, the staff did not timely consult a wound care specialist. In addition, during Moxley’s hospitalization, she developed paralysis below the waist.

For the remainder of her life, Moxley continued to suffer from pressure ulcers and paralysis. After her death, Moxley was survived by her four adult children.
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Ronald Fairrow, 56, underwent an appendectomy at Riverside Methodist Hospital. The surgical resident, Dr. Alon Geva, and nurse Megan Conrad attempted to insert a urinary catheter but encountered resistance.

Dr. Geva and Conrad made several more attempts until another doctor came and properly inserted the catheter.

Several days after the appendectomy surgery, Fairrow suffered severe bleeding in his urethra and later underwent surgery to stop the blood flow. Fairrow was unable to urinate due to the urethral damage and required Foley and supra pubic catheters for several months until he underwent urethral reconstruction surgery.
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Vincent Lowe brought this medical malpractice lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Franklin County, Mo., against Bryan J. Menges, D.O. and James D. Cassat, M.D. and their employers, Mercy Hospital East Communities (“Mercy Hospital”) and Mercy Clinic East Community (“Mercy Clinic”). In the lawsuit, they alleged that as a result of these defendants’ choosing not to timely diagnose and treat the condition known as mesenteric ischemia, which caused inadequate blood supply to Lowe’s intestines, a substantial portion of his lower bowel had to be removed leaving him with short bowel syndrome, which will require extensive ongoing medical care.

At the jury trial, the jury signed a verdict in favor of Lowe for past and future economic and noneconomic damages totaling $14,245,545. The jury made comparative fault assessments of 65% to Dr. Menges and Mercy Hospitals, 25% to Dr. Cassat and Mercy Clinic and 10% to Lowe for a net verdict of $12,820,990.

Mercy took an appeal challenging the admission of the life care plan that was prepared and submitted into evidence by Lowe’s expert.
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Dwayne Kenney suffered a fractured left leg in a motorcycle crash. He underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery, which was performed by an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Cyrus Kump II. Kenney suffered complications and, suspecting an infection, Dr. Kump removed the plates and screws from his leg approximately three months later. During that procedure, Dr. Kump was unable to close the skin over Kenney’s exposed tibia. Nevertheless, Dr. Kump ordered only dressing changes for the next four weeks, leaving the wound open to the air.

Six months later, a plastic surgeon attempted to cover Kenney’s exposed bone. Kenney contracted MRSA, osteomyelitis, and the procedure failed in less than two weeks. Several months after that, Kenney’s left leg required amputation. Although it was not reported, it may be assumed that the amputation was below the knee.

Kenney sued Dr. Kump and his practice alleging that Kump chose not to place an external fixator to stabilize the fractured tibia during the second surgery and decided not to timely consult a plastic surgeon to address an exposed tibia within five days of the procedure. The exposure of the bone to air led to the infection, which included osteomyelitis.
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Samuel Chifalo, 63, fell and hit his head. An ambulance crew arrived and put a cervical collar on before taking him to Parkview Medical Center.

At the hospital, the staff noted that Chifalo had difficulty moving his arms and legs. Nevertheless, emergency room physician Dr. Ashley Ostrand did not document this condition after doing a physical exam and recording Chifalo’s medical history. The doctor ordered CT scans of Chifalo’s neck and head and discharged him from the hospital with a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

The next day, Chifalo was unable to walk and returned to the emergency room at the same hospital. This time Dr. Ostrand ordered MRIs of his head and cervical and thoracic spinal cord regions. Chifalo was then diagnosed as having a spinal cord injury at C3-4 with quadriparesis. Despite rehabilitation, Chifalo continued to suffer from paralysis.
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Often we hear about large awards paid to patients who were injured in hospitals or other health care facilities. An unusually large award was announced in the case of a brain-damaged woman. It is something of a landmark award because of the amount of money involved. The city announced it planned to appeal the award.

A Bronx jury awarded about $120 million to a woman who has been incapacitated since she was treated at three New York hospitals in 2004.

The award, by a State Supreme Court jury, was made in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Jacqueline Martin by her mother. Martin suffered brain damage after a series of hospital visits in February 2004.
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A hospital and doctor have agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit filed by an Indiana mother whose baby sustained permanent brain damage during child birth in 2002.

The mother, K.C., on behalf of her daughter, filed the lawsuit in 2010 against Dr. Monique Jones and Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest. The plaintiff alleged that, when she went into labor, Jones acted negligently.

The lawsuit says Jones, who was the patient’s obstetrician, failed to recognize that the fetus was distressed. The doctor ordered or gave K.C. more Pitocin, a contraction-inducing drug. Increased contractions resulted in a loss of oxygen to the baby, and the baby suffered a permanent brain injury, according to the plaintiff’s suit.
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A jury reached a not guilty verdict against defendant Dr. Glenn A. Woudenberg, Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, Vanguard Health Systems and MN Anesthesia LLC in the death of a steelworker who underwent a right hip revision surgery and died two days later.

The case was reported in the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter.

The steelworker, E.C., underwent surgery Oct. 9, 2007. He incurred $109,000 in medical bills. His estate contended that the death was caused by episodes of low blood pressure during the surgery, which led to an ischemic injury to the kidney, bowel and other vital organs.
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David Scheer, the father of Matthew Scheer, drove his son to the emergency room at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center because David noticed that his son had added some disturbing posts on social media. Matthew was 26 at the time. He was also suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations. Matthew was diagnosed as having suffered a break from reality and was admitted to the hospital when he arrived.

As an inpatient, Matthew was seen by two hospitalists. While at this facility, Matthew became agitated, accused the nurses of being devil worshippers, and told staff that he wished to leave the facility.

The second attending hospitalist did not contact David Scheer, Matthew’s father, about his son’s intentions. He allowed Matthew to leave the hospital against medical advice during an Atlantic coast hurricane. Matthew disappeared and reportedly drowned in the Atlantic Ocean. His death certificate listed his death as a suicide. He is survived by his parents and sibling.
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