The 43-year-old former construction worker, who had a long history of back pain that radiated down his leg, went to the emergency department at Lowell General Hospital on March 7, 2015 because the discomfort he was experiencing in his left foot felt different this time…medicalmalpracticelawyers.com, $20 Million Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Verdict For Missed Blood Clot Leading To Amputation, March 2023
Despite two nurses documenting that his left foot was cool to the touch and was turning purple, the physician assistant evidently did not read the man’s medical record and diagnosed him as having worsening sciatica after which he discharged him.
The man returned to the emergency department six days later because the pain in his left ankle reached 9 out of ten. He was seen by two nurses, one of whom had seen him in the emergency department six days earlier, followed by an examination by a nurse practitioner, who diagnosed sciatica again and sent the man home.
Four days later, when the pain had not decreased, the man was seen by his primary care physician, who preformed an ultrasound of his left leg and found deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and arterial thrombosis. He was immediately sent to the emergency department where a vascular surgeon ordered a CT scan that showed tissue necrosis. By then it was too late to save his leg – he underwent amputation of his left leg above the knee the following day.
The man’s Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer argued to the jury that had an ultrasound been ordered during either of his client’s earlier emergency department visits, the DVT would have been diagnosed and treated, which would have avoided the amputation of his leg.
The Massachusetts medical malpractice jury awarded $10 million for the loss of his leg and an additional $10 million for the man’s pain and suffering.