Quote from SCRN1
Here's my question for anyone who knows...
Have you ever heard of anyone suing and winning a case like this? Am I wrong in thinking that this sounds like one of those frivilous lawsuits because this being one of the risks in accepting in IM in that area? Personally, I try to give an IM in the thigh when possible.
Here's one, and I'm sure there are others...
December 2003 Legal Case Study
Inferior Gluteal Neuropathy From Post-Operative Injection in Buttock - Severe Pain in Leg - $3.5 Million Pennsylvania Verdict.
Elnor Whitehead sought care from Richard B. Kanoff, M.D., for pain in her low back and lower leg in October 1998. Whitehead had previously been diagnosed with significant spinal stenosis and had undergone conservative therapy. She continued to have severe pain and, on Kanoff's suggestion, decided to undergo spinal surgery.
On October 23, Whitehead was admitted to City Avenue Hospital, part of the now-defunct Allegheny University Hospitals group, for surgery to be performed by Kanoff. The surgery went off without complications and Kanoff prescribed her post-operative pain medication. Whitehead received several injections of pain medication in her buttocks on the day of the surgery as well as on the next day. Nancy McGrane and Sosamma Raju were the nurses rendering treatment to Whitehead. Raju was removed from the suit, however, when it was discovered that she had not given the injections. After one of the injections, Whitehead began experiencing severe pain in her left leg. The pain became so severe that on October 25, she was almost incoherent when Kanoff saw her. Because Whitehead was in so much pain, Kanoff ordered large doses of pain medication and Whitehead underwent an MRI of the lumbar spine. The MRI showed a large subdural hematoma, but that condition was inconsistent with Whitehead's complaints.
Kanoff performed a second surgery on Whitehead for wound exploration but was still left without an answer. While at the hospital, Whitehead was seen by a neurologist, who theorized she might be suffering from a sciatic nerve injury caused by a post-operative injection. Whitehead was discharged and later underwent an EMG test, which showed inferior gluteal neuropathy, a condition consistent with her complaints. Kanoff continued to treat Whitehead, prescribing medication to alleviate the severe pain in her left leg. Whitehead later underwent spinal cord stimulation therapy, which was only successful for a little while, and then implantation of a morphine pump. Whitehead continues to use the pump but is unsuccessful in controlling her severe left leg pain.
In her suit Whitehead argued that because of an improper post-operative pain medication injection, she suffered an injury to her sciatic nerve, causing severe and permanent damage to her left leg. Coupled with a previous injury to her abdomen, Whitehead's pain now means she can't do much of anything. Defendants argued that the injection was administered properly and that Whitehead's pain was due to her back problems.
According to a published account, a $3.5 million verdict was returned. Defendant's Experts: Lawrence Kerson, M.D., neurology, Newtown, PA. Elnor Whitehead v. Nancy McGrane, County (PA) Common Pleas Court, Case No. _. Stephen J. Pokiniewski, Jr. and Lisa R. Schwartz, Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, for the plaintiff. Daniel P. Lynch of Harvey, Pennington, Cabot, Griffith & Renneisen, for the defendant.