Patient admitted to trauma ICU for spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia. Healthy young individual (under 30), no prior health issues. Spinal surgery to stabilize spine, no complications. Stage II sacral pressure ulcer forms within 14 days in trauma unit, impacted with fecal matter (according to attending's report). Rapid deterioration to stage IV with MRSA and osteomyelitis. Hospital stay prolonged, rehabilitation delayed due to pressure wounds. Doctors talk of potential plastic surgery, wounds may never completely heal. Wound currently 10-12cm diameter, 4-5cm deep.
These adverse events occurred in a municipal hospital. Initial notice of claim filed. Patient still under care of facility so records cannot be released yet for evaluation.
Thoughts on damages with this claim?
Personal Injury Lawyer
You likely have a very significant claim. Given the fact that the individual was under 30 and healthy there is no good reason for a pressure sore to form if he/she is being properly cared for. I practice in Arizona and I do not know if New York has any caps on damages or if medical expenses paid for continuing care are asserted as a collateral source. If not this case could likely bring 6 figures and perhaps 7 figures. I suggest that you find a good nursing home attorney in new york and pursue the matter. Look to see if the hospital had previously had any issues with or had been sanctioned for allowing pressure sores to form with prior patients.
The only way to find out whether there was malpractice here is to order all the medical records and have a medical malpracticelawyer send them to an expert physician to review to ascertain whether or not there was a breach of the standard of care. Was the patient in a motor vehicle accident which caused the spinal cord injury?
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Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
The hospital's position that they will not release the medical records because he is under care is false, and is likely intended to cause you to delay. They can be be forced to release the files.
I believe there are significant damages. Without reviewing records, it is not possible to guesstimate damages, but single stage 4 bedsores, have brought verdicts/settlements in the half million range. Those cases to the best of my knowledge did not involve a paraplegic, which may complicate matters, but as I previously posted, the burden will be on the hospital to show that the bedsores could not be avoided.
Please feel free to call to discuss.