B. ABC Hospital:
Immediately upon arrival the emergency room the doctor noted a large “draining wound” on his back. Unlike Dr. X., the medical staff at ABC Hospital immediately realized that the back wound may be infected. Unlike Dr. X., the emergency room doctor started plaintiff on Ancef, an IV antibiotic. He was admitted to the hospital. Unlike Dr. X., a culture was ordered. Mr. Smith was neurologically intact. An assessment of his back wound was performed by a nurse. She noted the following:
WOUND NUMBER I
Dr. Y. was filling in for Mr. Smith’s regular doctor, Dr. V., M.D. Because of Dr. V’s absence, Dr. Y. became Mr. Smith’s attending physician.
Unlike Dr. X., Dr. V. felt the wound might be infected. He stated in his history and physical: “We will empirically treat with antibiotics. We will talk to Dr. U. to rule out osteomyelitis or skin cancer infiltrating the subcutaneous tissue with MRI scan of the back.”
Dr. Y. was concerned that an infection could spread to Mr. Smith’s blood stream, causing sepsis.
On March 24, 2002, Dr. Y. visited Mr. Smith. He noted that Mr. Smith could move all four extremities but had difficulty lifting his legs. In his deposition, Dr. Y. said he thought this was secondary to pain but it is not noted in his records. At that time Dr. Y. received results from the blood culture. Mr. Smith had sepsis. It was gram positive, meaning it was either strep or staph.
Dr. Y. increased plaintiff’s Ancef (antibiotic) even though he admitted at his deposition that if plaintiff’s infection was MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) Ancef would do nothing to control the infection. Dr. Y. did not tell Dr. U. that Mr. Smith was positive for sepsis. He assumed Dr. U. knew about it.
C. Nurse Brown:
Mr. Smith was placed on 4 West at ABC Hospital. At 11:00 p.m. on March 24, 2002, his care was placed in the hands of Ms. Brown, LVN.
At midnight Nurse Brown assessed Mr. Smith and recorded the following:
“Full ROM [range of motion]”
At approximately 1:00 a.m., Nurse Brown noted the patient could not move his legs. The records show Nurse Brown called Dr. Y. around 1:00 a.m. There is a dispute as to what was said.
Nurse Brown states she told Dr. Y. that Mr. Smith could not move his legs. In her deposition taken on February 9, 2004 she testified on page 25, lines 2 through 6:
“Q. Okay. And so you called Kamboj and told him – – what did you tell Dr. Kamboj, if you recall?
A. I told him that this patient cannot get up, he cannot move his legs, he wants to urinate, he always spill urine in the bed. So he ordered Foley catheter.”
Dr. Y., on the other hand, denies that Nurse Brown ever told him that the patient could not get up or move his legs. He testified she merely asked for an order to start a Foley catheter because he was spilling urine or incontinent. He cannot remember exactly what she said, but emphatically denies she told him anything to indicate an onset of paralysis.
In any event, nothing was done in response to the neurological deterioration of Mr. Smith.
At 0100 hours on March 25, 2002, she recorded:
“Unable to move both legs. Upper extremities very weak. Unable to move arms, unable to move hands to handle the trapeze for help. Very weak, unable to move side to side in bed without two person helping. Sore in the back has foul smell, voided to urinal, and some spillings to bed. Complaints of pain lower abdomen. Can place Foley catheter per doctor’s order.” (See Part 7 of 23.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins