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ARTICLE ID 188916

DEFENDANT’S – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – NURSING – ALLEGED FAILURE TO TIMELY DIAGNOSE BLOOD CLOT – PERMANENT PARAPLEGIA.

Collier County, FL

The plaintiff was a 56-year-old retired police officer when he came under the care of the defendant nurse. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant nurse was negligent in failing to recognize the signs and symptoms which would have led to the diagnosis of a blood clot, failing to report the signs and symptoms to the appropriate physicians, and failing to follow the chain of command when the physician did not respond appropriately. The plaintiff claimed that he became a permanent paraplegic as a result of the defendant’s failure to render adequate nursing care. The staffing agency which provided the defendant nurse to the hospital was also named as a defendant on a vicarious liability theory. The hospital and an attending hospitalist settled the plaintiff’s claims prior to trial. The defendant nurse argued that she met the required standard of care and reported the plaintiff’s condition to the attending hospitalist and hospital charge nurse.

The plaintiff was admitted to Naples Community Hospital on September 28, ________ due to abdominal complaints. During the hospital admission, a decision was made by the doctors that plaintiff required gallbladder surgery, which took place on October 5, ________. Because of this surgery, the plaintiff’s doctors decided to take him off his anticoagulant medication temporarily.

The plaintiff came under the care of the defendant, a traveling registered nurse who began working at the hospital shortly before plaintiff’s hospital admission. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to recognize the signs and symptoms of blood clot, including coldness, weak pulses and paleness and failed to report these conditions to the appropriate physicians. The plaintiffs alleged that by the time a thrombectomy was performed on the morning of October 6, ________, nerve damage to the lower extremities had already occurred and the plaintiff suffered permanent paraplegia.

Plaintiff’s counsel requested $5.5 million in economic damages and an additional $9 million for pain and suffering for the plaintiff and his wife.

The defense maintained that the defendant nurse acted reasonably under the circumstances. The nurse claimed she communicated regularly to the attending physician and the charge nurse. The hospitalist oversaw of the plaintiff’s care and he personally evaluated the plaintiff and spoke to him and his wife over the phone during the night in question, according to the defense. Defense experts testified that the plaintiff developed extensive clots in several areas of his arteries, a clot in an aortoabiiliac graft which had been placed in August ________ and clots in the iliac arteries and arteries in the lower extremities.

The defense argued that this clotting or ischemia was progressive and occurred over time. Once the plaintiff developed this extensive clotting in the internal iliacs, the defendant contended that the condition became irreversible. There was nothing that could have been done to remove the clots from the internal iliacs or to prevent the clots, according to the defense.After a two and a-half week trial, the jury found no negligence on the part of the defendants which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff.

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