Articles Posted in Spinal Cord Injuries

Anderson Fuentes, 47, had been diagnosed HIV-positive. He experienced severe back pain and an inability to urinate. He was admitted to Wycoff Heights Medical Center emergency room, where he was seen by an internist, Dr. Onyemachi Ajah. After Fuentes underwent drainage of his urine, Dr. Ajah attributed his pain to urine retention and scheduled Fuentes for discharge from the hospital.

Mr. Fuentes then began to experience difficulty walking and refused to leave the hospital. As a result, a CT scan was done, which showed a previously diagnosed herniated disk at L3-4.

Another physician, Dr. Theophine Abakporo, assumed Fuentes’s care and ordered a second CT scan. Dr. Abakporo also called for a neurological consultation, which was done several hours later.
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Patricia Bent underwent a right laminectomy performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Navinder Sethi. Although the surgery was successful, she developed pain, numbness and tingling on her left side. She returned to Dr. Sethi, who recommended a bilateral laminectomy at L3-4.

Unfortunately, during that surgery, Bent suffered a right-side dural tear, which led to leakage of cerebral-spinal fluid and caused permanent nerve damage.

After this surgery, Bent, 64, was unable to feel anything on her right side from her waist down to her foot. That prevented her from walking independently, driving, or continuing her work as a nurse where she was earning approximately $70,000 per year.
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A Peoria County, Ill., jury signed a verdict for more than $1.6 million for injuries caused to a young woman, Peyton Heathcoat caused by a chiropractor’s negligence. Heathcoat underwent manipulation to her back, spine, ribs, scapula and shoulder in 2012 and 2013. Treatment started when she was just 17 years old.

The verdict was reached on Sept. 13, 2019 after a 5-day trial. The jury’s verdict was higher than any previously reported chiropractic malpractice verdict or settlement in Peoria County, Ill., according to John L. Kirkton, editor of Jury Verdict Reporter, a product of Law Bulletin Media.

Heathcoat was being treated in 2012 and before that by Bartonville chiropractor Lonny J. Lannert, D.C. for knee pain related to her playing soccer.
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Edward Dallies, 51, was admitted to a hospital suffering from a swollen left arm and back pain. A family physician, Dr. Lawrence Rahall, prescribed intravenous antibiotics.

A bone scan showed Dallies had a compression fracture of the spine. However, he did not undergo an MRI because he did not fit into the hospital’s MRI machine. Five days later, Dr. Rahall stopped the antibiotics. Dallies was discharged three days later.

Dallies’ neurological condition worsened. He became unable to move his legs. Dallies was later diagnosed as having an epidural abscess, which necessitated surgery. As a consequence of his injuries, he now suffers from paralysis and neurological deficits, including a neurogenic bowel and bladder. He is unable to continue working as a laborer earning approximately $25,000 per year.

Dallies filed a lawsuit against Dr. Rahall and one of his treating orthopedists alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the epidural abscess and start appropriate antibiotic therapy. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants chose not to stabilize the compression fracture.
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Shane Ackerschott was injured at work. He went to RediCare Urgent Care Clinic, which was run by Mountain View Hospital. Ackerschott, 40 years old at the time, experienced numbness below the waist and severe pain when he arrived at this clinic.

He was at the clinic for several hours and consulted with a nurse and family physician who had him raise his legs, touch his toes, and move up and down, among other things. However, his symptoms worsened.

After he walked to the facility’s X-ray room, he collapsed. He was transported to Mountain View Hospital where he was diagnosed with having a spinal cord injury at T10-11, resulting in paraplegia.
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On Oct. 5, 2012, the defendant in this case, Dr. Yasser Alhaj-Hussein, completed a celiac plexus block procedure designed to lessen or alleviate the pain that Kathy Arient was experiencing in her abdominal area. The procedure was done at Orland Park Medical Center and involved alcohol inserted into the spine to destroy select nerves.

Following the procedure, Arient complained of numbness in her legs and was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital. It was there that it was determined that she had been rendered paraplegic. Arient and her husband, Terry Arient, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Hussein and other defendants alleging medical negligence in performing the celiac block. The suit also included a claim for loss of consortium.

Unfortunately, Arient died on June 9, 2014. The lawsuit was amended to include a wrongful-death and survival action against both Dr. Hussein and Illinois Anesthesia and Pain Associates and Orland Park Surgical Center. Orland Park Surgical moved to be dismissed as a defendant; the trial judge agreed.
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According to the report of this Illinois Appellate Court (1st District) decision, new ground is being broken in a lawsuit brought by Senayda Norabuena against Medtronic Inc. The suit, which was first dismissed on motion, involved the use of a Medtronic medical device implanted in a spinal fusion surgery.

The appeals panel for the 1st District held that the lawsuit, brought by Norabuena and her husband, against Medtronic involved parallel state law claims that are not pre-empted by federal law.

The justices found the plaintiffs’ pleadings were insufficient and ordered Cook County Circuit Court Judge John P. Callahan Jr. to grant them leave to file an amended complaint.
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Sean Pedley was 43 when he developed a lump in his left thigh. An internist, Dr. Syed Danish, ordered an x-ray that did not signify or later lead to a diagnosis. Pedley’s mass grew and became painful over the next two years.

When a later biopsy of the mass was analyzed, it showed that it was synovial sarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer.

By the time the correct diagnosis was made, the soft-tissue cancer had metastasized to Pedley’s spine.
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Joyce Williamson was 73 years old when she underwent surgery to treat spinal cord compression caused from cervical stenosis. Cervical stenosis is a slowly progressing condition that impinges on the spinal cord section of the neck. It can be very painful.

Several days after her surgery, she complained of shoulder weakness and then underwent an MRI of the cervical spine. The results showed fluid collecting, but no compression of the spinal cord. Her condition worsened. Her rehabilitation physician contacted her treating neurosurgeon who was Dr. George Shanno.

Dr. Shanno evaluated Williamson several hours later and gave a different diagnosis of stroke or epidural hematoma. An epidural hematoma is the traumatic accumulation of blood between the tough outer membrane of the nervous system and the skull. An epidural hematoma would usually occur because of a sudden and blunt blow to the head or in the event of a skull fracture.

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In a confidential settlement, a 50-year-old woman underwent a microdiscectomy performed by a neurosurgeon. The patient’s blood pressure dropped after the procedure, and her condition then deteriorated.

A CT scan showed that the woman’s iliac artery was injured during the microdiscectomy. By the time the patient was transferred to another hospital for repair surgery, her medical status was severely compromised. Despite an emergency surgery to repair the artery, the patient died.

The patient was the owner of a small business earning about $25,000 per year. Her decedent now runs the business. She was survived by her husband and three adult children.

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