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Woman Claims She Became Quadriplegic After Surgery

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A woman who became quadriplegic claims the disabling personal injuries that caused her to lose feeling in her arms and legs occurred because of surgery she underwent at a hospital in Mount Vernon, Illinois.


According to suit she filed against Good Samaritan Hospital, Dr. Waqqas Kahn, and Dr. Kevin Claffey on July 8 in Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court, E. Marlene Summers visited the hospital at the advice of Kahn, her doctor, for the installation of a trial dorsal column stimulator, a device that stimulates nerves by tiny electrical impulses. The complaint says the device is typically implanted in people with chronic and severe pain.


But the suit claims that before and after the device was implanted by Kahn and Claffey on September 26, 2008, they did not prescribe any antibiotics for Summers.


On October 1, 2008, Summers returned to the hospital for an infection around the area where the doctors had performed the surgery, according to the complaint. The stimulator was surgically removed and Summers was released from the hospital on October 14, 2008.


Summers again returned to the hospital on October 22, 2008 complaining of general feelings of uneasiness and fatigue, the suit says. During the following evening, doctors performed a cervical MRI on Summers, revealing osteomyelitis with an epidural abscess creating severe cranal stenosis.


Summers received air transport to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri on October 24, 2008, according to the complaint. She was eventually transferred from there to a residential care facility.


As of her filing the suit, Summers says that she has no feeling below her chest and is unable to turn her head, though she can slightly move her arms and shoulders. The suit claims she now requires 100 percent assistance.


Summers claims the infection caused her to incur medical expenses and suffer permanent pain, suffering, disability, and disfigurement.


Summers alleges negligence on the part of the hospital and doctors for failure to perform a proper pre-operative workup, failure to order a cervical MRI, failure to administer an appropriate antibiotic regimen, allowing physicians to perform procedures when they did not have proper credentials, failure to identify her surgical abscess in a timely manner, and failure to properly treat her infection.


Summers seeks damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs, from the three-count suit.

Category: Medical Malpractice

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