$230,000: Woman Discharged From Hospital With Tourniquet Still In Place

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff underwent surgery to treat arthritis in her left thumb. Post-operative orders were not followed by the nurses and the patient was released with a tourniquet still in place on her left hand. The tourniquet was removed the following day during a doctor’s visit. Plaintiff suffered tissue, muscle and nerve damage in the left hand. Suit was brought against the hospital claiming medical malpractice, loss of consortium, and damages.

RESULT: $230,000.00 total settlement

This is an action for medical malpractice and loss of consortium, brought against John Doe Hospital, as a result of the failure of nursing personnel to follow post operative orders. On August 30, 1995, Jane Doe underwent surgery to treat basilar joint arthritis of the left thumb. This surgery was performed at John Doe Hospital. At the conclusion of the procedure, Plaintiff”s left hand was wrapped with gauze and bandages. An ace wrap was also placed on her left hand and wrapped tightly as a tourniquet to reduce bleeding.

The post operative orders state, the nurses were given orders to “Remove the ace wrap at 11: 00. In this case the recovery room nurses failed to follow the surgeon”s orders. The ace wrap was never removed and plaintiff was discharged that day with the ace wrap still in place. The bandage was not removed until the next day during an office visit. Due to the delay in removal of the bandage, plaintiff suffered tissue, muscle, and nerve damage to her hand and reflex sympathetic dystrophy in the nerves in her left hand.

The parties disputed factually what happened. The Plaintiff claimed that Defendant’s nursing staff failed to follow post-operative orders to remove the ace bandage. While the Defendants denied Plaintiff”s allegations and claimed the post-operative orders to remove the bandage were not written in plaintiff”s chart prior to her discharge from John Doe Hospital, but were written later, after the fact.

TYPE OF CASE: Medical Malpractice

INJURIES: Plaintiff suffered tissue, muscle and nerve damage to her hand and reflex sympathetic dystrophy in the nerves in her left hand.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: On 8/30/95 at John Doe Hospital

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: 67 at time of incident

OCCUPATION: LVN, operating room technician

David P. Crandall
For Plaintiff – Confidential

For Defendant – John Doe Hospital