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Patient's initial admission into ICU for spinal cord trauma and spine surgery (resulting in paraplegia), healthy young individual, no prior health issues. Stage 2 pressure ulcers form within 14 days in trauma unit. Rapid deterioration to stage IV with MRSA and bone infection. Hospital stay prolonged, rehabilitation delayed due to pressure wounds. Doctors talk of potential plastic surgery in future, wounds may never completely heal.
A legal professional I spoke to says "pain and suffering" may not work in this claim because patient cannot "feel pain" due to paralysis. Also states if wounds heal, there may be no damages, may be a tough case to argue.
The facility obviously did not follow protocol resulting in harm to the patient, whether they can "feel" the pain or not.
THOUGHTS???Updated: The first sentence was a little unclear. Patient did *not* become paraplegic due to spine surgery. Patient was a crime victim, paralysis was result of the spinal cord injury inflicted by perpetrator. Spine surgery was performed only to stabilize spine. No complications with spine surgery, surgical site healed properly and is fine. Patient had no history of MRSA and was not tested upon admission. Testing was only done once the wound progressed. Eventually osteomyelitis set in after improper use of wound vac treatment (this has been documented). These adverse events occurred in a municipal hospital. Patient is still under care of facility so unfortunately records cannot be released until discharged. Thank you for your help!
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