Florida residents trust in their doctors to provide them with the best care possible. So when they receive lifelong injuries after a doctor performs a routine procedure, it can be an unsettling experience. This was the case for a man in Missouri who developed swelling and an infection after a stent was inserted in his thigh. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit and won a $8.3 million award.
The Army veteran was just 43 years old when he had the stent inserted in February 2009. Doctors inserted the stent in his right thigh after he complained of chest pain. The area quickly became swollen and was bleeding. A week later, surgery was needed to repair an infected artery.
The surgeon allegedly used infected tissue to repair the artery. The infection caused the leg to require amputation. The man also suffered excessive blood loss that led to brain damage.
The father of three is now paralyzed and unable to communicate. His wife, who received $1.5 million of the award, cares for him. They currently live with their daughter and hope to move into a home that is wheelchair-accessible.
This is not the first time the hospital, John Cochran VA Medical Center, has been accused of negligence. The hospital has been under scrutiny several times since 2010 after numerous close calls. The hospital has been accused of inadequate sterilization and using surgical tools covered in rust stains. One man died in 2010 after a nurse failed to check on him during his five-hour dialysis treatment.
Doctors have a duty to provide medical care that meets standards of care. Although it can be difficult to determine what does and what does not meet the standards of care, no patient should expect a lifelong disability after a routine procedure. Although the man received a fairly large award, most or all of it will go toward medical care for the rest of his life – which could be several more decades or so.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “St. Louis man wins $8.3 million malpractice award against John Cochran VA hospital” David Yates, Nov. 19, 2013