On January 14, 2016, a Nebraska medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $90,000 in favor of a man who had to have his leg amputated that the jury determined was due to the medical negligence of the defendant vascular surgeon and his medical practice.
The seven-person Nebraska medical malpractice jury determined, however, that the defendant hospital where the plaintiff sought medical treatment after suffering severe leg pain in January 2012, and the defendant emergency room physician, were not negligent in their treatment of the man.
The man had gone to the defendant hospital, complaining of severe lower left leg pain. The defendant vascular surgeon performed a fasciotomy on the man but the man suffered complications from the fasciotomy, resulting in amputation of the plaintiff’s left leg below the knee.
What Is A Fasciotomy?
A fasciotomy is a surgical procedure during which the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure to address loss of circulation to an area of muscle or tissue. While the success rate of fasciotomy is high, there may be complications such as loss of mobility, nerve damage, or neurovascular compromise that may ultimately result in the amputation of a limb. A skin graft may be required to close the wound.
Fasciotomy may be used to treat compartment syndrome, which is the increased pressure within a compartment of the body that contains muscles and nerves. Compartment syndrome most often occurs in the limbs and may be acute (such as caused by trauma) or chronic. In acute compartment syndrome, which is a medical emergency requiring timely surgical intervention, the severe high pressure within the compartment results in insufficient blood supplied to the muscles and nerves that, if not timely treated, may lead to permanent damage and loss of function in the affected limb.
In the Nebraska medical malpractice case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant vascular surgeon failed to perform a complete arterial pulse exam of the plaintiff’s left leg, failed to have the plaintiff transferred to another hospital for immediate treatment, and, in the alternative, failed to call in another vascular surgeon to avoid the delay in the defendant vascular surgeon performing the facsiotomy. The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant vascular surgeon failed to perform an adequate fasciotomy, requiring the defendant vascular surgeon to complete the procedure on the following day.
The Nebraska medical malpractice jury awarded the man $22,500 for his past loss of full mind and body, $22,500 for his future loss of full mind and body, $22,500 for his past pain and suffering, and $22,500 for his future pain and suffering. However, the Nebraska medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the defendants with regard to the wife’s loss of consortium claim, awarding her no damages.
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury that may be the result of medical negligence in Nebraska, you should promptly find a Nebraska medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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