Incorrect Discharge Instructions Lead to Serious Complications Following Outpatient Surgery
Litigation Type - Medical Malpractice
Client Injury - Infection
Our client sustained a broken heel while at work. During the initial surgery to repair the heel, which was very successful, a drain was placed in the client’s foot to minimize the possibility of infection. The drain should have been removed in two to three days. However, our client was told to come back for a follow up in 14 days and leave the dressing undisturbed on his written discharge instructions. The client’s doctor admitted that his original discharge orders were wrong but argued that he told the nurses and our client that a two- to three-day follow-up was needed. Yet, none of the doctor’s records reflected this alleged verbal order. A nurse also testified that if something had changed, she would have amended the patient’s chart.
When our client returned 17 days later, the drain was discovered and his foot was infected. He was treated for this infection, which included four surgeries and three hospitalizations. Three of the surgeries were necessary to treat the infection, which became chronic, by removing dead tissue and the hardware that was placed inside our client’s foot. This hardware was also contaminated with infection. Soon thereafter the client developed a deformity of his heel bone, requiring a fusion surgery.
The defendant offered nothing to settle the case and was not interested in mediation. Personal injury attorney Jeffrey Montpetit represented the client in court and argued that the doctor was negligent.
The jury agreed with Jeffrey and awarded our client $380,000, which included awards for past medical bills, lost wages and past and future pain and suffering.
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