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Inadequate Nursing Care Costs Patient a Prosthetic Leg

Nursing home medical malpractice due to inadequate care costs an amputee an additional part of his leg and the ability to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. This case was settled through mediation rather than a jury trial. Understanding the case turns on what witnesses would have testified to in court during a trial.Inadequate Nursing Care Costs Patient a Prosthetic Leg - Altizer Law

The plaintiff in this Virginia medical malpractice case was moved from the hospital to a nursing home for rehabilitation after surgery that amputated one leg above the knee.  

The Facts of the Case

  • Relatives of the plaintiff were prepared to testify that on numerous visits to plaintiff in the nursing home, they found a large amount of feces and urine in his bed, his wound dressing, and his diaper.
  • On the ninth day that the plaintiff was in the nursing home a nurse observed and noted the presence of yellow-greenish discharge from the stump wound.
  • On the twelfth day in the nursing home, plaintiff’s daughter visited him in the nursing home. She observed that the stump wound was discharging pus. She also noted a septic odor.
  • The plaintiff was re-admitted to the hospital immediately. It was noted that frank pus was draining from the stump.
  • The diagnosis was a complex wound infection, resulting from inadequate nursing care. It was noted that this infection could have been prevented if he had received proper nursing care for the wound.
  • The plaintiff’s infectious disease physician was prepared to testify that the stump had been exposed to stool and urine on numerous occasions. This wound infection, he said, was caused by the wound dressing becoming soiled by feces and urine.
  • Plaintiff required six weeks of antibiotic treatment for osteomyelitis and sepsis that resulted from the wound infection.

Patient Outcome

Plaintiff required, in addition, debridement surgery above the knee. He also required another procedure to revise the stump, which required removal of an additional four inches of femoral bone. During this process, plaintiff gained weight and developed weakness in the leg (as a result of the infection and the revision surgery). All of these factors combined to make it impossible to fit him with a prosthetic leg. Mediation resulted in a settlement for the plaintiff of $450,000.

The kind of negligence and failure to treat the plaintiff’s needs reported by family and nursing staff can only be classified as nursing home medical malpractice. The tragic end result of this failure to follow standards of care required the plaintiff to undergo multiple surgical procedures, aggressive treatment of infection, and loss of an additional part of the stump remaining from the first amputation.

Call Altizer Law

If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a medical professional, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Call Altizer Law, P.C., to discuss your experience and your injuries with Bettina Altizer and her team. Bettina has been representing Virginians harmed by medical malpractice with great success for more than 30 years. She is widely trusted for her compassionate care and aggressive legal representation in medical malpractice cases involving nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals.