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Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Turner and Dina Zalewski negotiated a confidential medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered critical illness and sepsis, had to undergo several corrective surgeries, and experienced long-term, adverse health effects because of a feeding tube negligently misplaced in her colon during surgery.
The plaintiff underwent routine surgery at the defendant hospital during which a gastronomy tube was intended to be inserted in her stomach. Gastronomy tubes are used after surgery to allow air and fluid to leave the stomach and to give drugs and liquids, including liquid food, to a patient. The lawsuit alleged the defendant surgeon and hospital surgical staff failed to use reasonable care when inserting the tube, placing it in the plaintiff’s transverse colon instead of her stomach.
As a result of the tube’s misplacement in her colon, the plaintiff needed repeat surgery to correct the misplaced tube. As a result of the adhesions resulting from the previous surgeries, the patient suffered a bowel perforation during the repeat surgery. She became critically ill and septic when stool contents leaked into abdominal cavity. She became hypoxic, her mental state was altered, and she developed bilateral pleural effusions. She needed multiple additional surgeries to fix the bowel perforation, clean out her abdomen and finally a skin graft procedure to close the abdomen. After her discharge from the hospital, the plaintiff resided in skilled nursing care for more than three months. She continued to suffer from a massive hernia, breathing and sleeping difficulties, psychological challenges, an array of digestive and eating problems, and requires assistance with the activities of daily living.
Because of the defendants’ surgical error, the plaintiff required additional corrective surgeries as well. Had the defendants properly placed the tube inside the plaintiff’s stomach, she would have been discharged within a week without the need for further surgery. The settlement provides for the ongoing and permanent injuries the plaintiff suffered due to the defendants’ negligence, and the costs of extensive and long-term medical, psychological, and therapeutic care.
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