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  • Hospital Error – Emergency Removal of Spleen and Prolonged Medical Treatment – Crow v. Priebe, Henry Ford Health System

Sommers Schwartz attorney Robert Sickels filed a Wayne County medical malpractice action on behalf of a man who suffered injury to his spleen and other complications due to hospital errors.

Gary Crow went to the emergency room of a hospital in Escanaba complaining of numbness in his left arm, headache, and blurry, double vision. An MRI showed a pulmonary embolism and suggested a ruptured esophagus. Based on these results and new complaints of respiratory failure and intense abdominal pain, Crow was transferred to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for a higher level of care.

Upon arrival, his condition worsened. Rebecca Priebe, an acute care nurse practitioner, inserted a chest tube to drain fluid from his left lung.  During insertion, the tube became displaced, punctured his diaphragm, and passed through his spleen, causing a massive hemorrhage. Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove the spleen, repair the diaphragm, reposition the chest tube, and treat his ruptured esophagus with a stent and feeding tube.

Crow suffered numerous complications during his recovery. He underwent additional surgeries to retrieve and replace his esophageal stent after it dislodged and further repositioning of chest tubes to treat the pleural effusion in his left lung. He completed multiple courses of antibiotics and antifungals to treat persistent infections which were aggravated by the loss of his spleen.

The complaint alleges that Priebe negligently inserted Crow’s first chest tube. This improper positioning caused damage to his diaphragm and spleen, escalated his original medical issues, prompted additional surgery, and left him more susceptible to infection. He remains at higher risk of infections and must take ongoing medications to reduce his susceptibility. Crow alleges that the negligent chest tube placement complicated and prolonged his course of medical treatment. He seeks compensation for the loss of a vital organ, his pain and emotional anguish, disability, physical limitations, medical expenses, loss of earnings, reduced earning capacity, and other economic losses. His wife seeks compensation for her loss of her husband’s comfort, companionship, society, and services.

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