Case #1039: Amputation
On August 12, the Plaintiff, John Doe, Jr., presented to the Defendant Anonymous Medical Center with complaints of severe, bilateral upper and mid-back pain. Additionally, he had a cough with yellow sputum and was having difficulty breathing. His skin was noted to be warm and clammy and he was ultimately diagnosed with pneumonia. Amazingly, the Defendants simply instructed the Plaintiff to take Motrin for his fever and to advise if his symptoms became worse.
On August 20, the Plaintiff returned to the Defendant Hospital with complaints of weakness in his legs, the feeling of ongoing electric shocks, and an elevated white blood count. Upon admission, he came under the care of the Defendant Anonymous Doctor. The Plaintiff asserted that in view of his history of pneumonia which was negligently treated, as well as the weakness in his legs and the feeling of electric shocks, the Defendant Anonymous Doctor and/or employees of the Defendant Hospital were required to determine the source of his symptoms and provide meaningful intervention. In view of the weakness and “electric shocks,” an MRI and/or like study was mandated, along with neurological consultation. Had the Defendant Doctor provided the Plaintiff with the required consultation and appropriate studies (including but not limited to the MRI), a frank epidural abscess in the area of T7-8 would have been easily diagnosed, timely intervention would have been provided, and the abscess would have been drained and effectively eradicated.
However, the Plaintiff was only provided with two days of intravenous (IV) Vancomycin and Rocephin, and was simply discharged on August 22, with instructions to utilize oral antibiotics, which were totally inadequate to deal with the condition.
On September 10, the Plaintiff returned to the Defendant Hospital with severe abdominal pain radiating to his back and both legs. He suffered with numbness in both extremities and was admitted. An MRI was performed on September 11, which revealed an epidural abscess and blood cultures revealed a MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infection. A right hemilaminectomy was performed during the course of the Plaintiff’s admission. The Plaintiff was discharged on September 19, to a rehabilitation hospital for additional care and treatment. However, as the direct and proximate result, the Plaintiff suffered permanent paralysis due to the prolonged, untreated abscess.
The Plaintiff continues to suffer severe physical pain, emotional anguish, as well as fear and anxiety over his condition. He has lost his former state of emotional and physical well-being, is unable to engage in any of those activities which he enjoyed previously, and has been bound to a wheelchair due to his paralysis.