$4.2 Million Medical Malpractice Award to a Woman Who Lost Her Leg After Knee Surgery

MEDICAL-MALPRACTICEAny form of surgery requires you to put your body and life in the hands of a doctor. That doctor is entrusted to ensure the medical procedure proceeds accordingly and you will successfully recover. Unfortunately, not at all medical procedures proceed as planned and can result in catastrophic damage that may be irreversible.

A Philadelphia jury has awarded $4.2 Million to a woman whose left leg was amputated because of an infection she developed after double knee-replacement surgery.

The plaintiff, a diabetic, came under care of one of the doctors in 2009 after she complained of knee pain. The doctor diagnosed the plaintiff with degenerative arthritis in both knees, later confirmed with x-rays. The doctor and the plaintiff discussed knee replacement and scheduled the surgery for December 1, 2010.

The doctor performed the surgery and afterward the plaintiff was moved to Temple rehabilitation center under the care of a new doctor. It was here that the plaintiff began to develop drainage and a large blister in the area of the incision to her right leg, signs of an infection. The plaintiff was discharged from Temple on December 22, 2010.

The doctor and the medical staff at Temple rehabilitation caring for the plaintiff failed to diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection. The doctor at Temple rehabilitation also failed to obtain vascular studies to evaluate the adequacy of blood flow to the plaintiff’s lower extremities.

An examination of plaintiff’s knee on January 31, 2011, revealed an open would on the plaintiff’s right leg and left heel. Plaintiff underwent additional surgery to have her ulcers drained, skin grafting onto her right knee and a flap placed on her left leg following the skin grafting.

By July 13, 2011, plaintiff had undergone three more surgeries to address the wound from the surgery. This included a procedure to have her knee hardware removed.

On August 24, 2011, plaintiff was advised that she might need an amputation of her left leg above the knee.

Upon discovering that the plaintiff’s leg had inadequate blood flow to sufficiently heal her wound, her leg was amputated.

The doctor who scheduled plaintiff for bilateral knee-replacement surgery did so without advising plaintiff of the risks of the surgery such as losing her lower extremities and poor wound healing due to her history of diabetes. The doctor also failed to order that the plaintiff undergo a vascular evaluation to determine whether she was suffering from arterial or venous insufficiency.

The plaintiff sued Temple University Hospital and two doctors. After a seven-day trial, the jury in the Philadelphia Courthouse found one doctor to be 40% negligent, second doctor to be 30% negligent and Temple University Hospital to be 30% negligent.

The intention of Medical Malpractice lawsuits is to compensate the plaintiff for the mistakes of others. The attorneys at Gale & Laughlin can help you and your family if anyone has been the victim of medical malpractice. Contact us today to discuss any questions you may have.

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