Client went into the hospital complaining of shortness of breath and tightness in the chest area. The emergency room doctors ran tests and concluded the client was in immediate need for open-heart surgery. Within several hours after entering the emergency room, the client underwent open heart surgery. The specific procedure is known as a coronary artery bypass graft surgery, also known as “CABG”, pronounced “cabbage.” The surgery was performed over the course of several hours with the bypass portion of the surgery being successful. However, immediately after the surgery, the client’s family noticed significant bruising, swelling, and discoloration to the right wrist and hand area.
The hospital’s doctor diagnosed the injury as a brachail plexus injury, which was thought to be caused as a result of the CABG surgery. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves located in the shoulder area that include the nerves leading to the hand and wrists. Over the course of the next weeks and months, the client continued to experience significant loss of feeling, strength, and movement to his right hand and wrist. It became apparent the original diagnosis was incorrect.
After many months and doctor’s visits, the client’s injury was properly diagnosed as being caused by a trauma to the right hand and wrist area. At some point during the surgery, the client’s hand and wrist suffered a traumatic injury which caused serious and permanent injury to the right wrist area. The hospital denied any wrongdoing and refused to acknowledge that the injury occurred through a trauma.
The client continued to experience significant loss of strength and had difficulty concentrating at work. As a result of this injury, the client was forced into early retirement. This caused a significant financial loss, as the client was unable to fully save up until the age of retirement.
Ryan, LLP was engaged and a lawsuit was filed against the hospital and the anesthesiologist. Because the hospital records did not properly document the injury, the anesthesiologist was named because it was his duty to ensure no injuries occurred. The hospital and doctor refused to accept the client’s injury was the result of a trauma. No offers for settlement were made. As a result, the case was presented to a jury in Cuyahoga County. The trial lasted seven days. The jury deliberated for 2 days and reached the final verdict of approximately $950,000.00 against the hospital, but found that the individual doctor did not commit malpractice.