Contracted MRSA due to contaminated metal in cervical spine...

by Jeanne
(Meridian, Idaho)

I contracted MRSA and now a secondary staff infection after surgery at C-3 to T-1 and metal was implanted in my spine. I was not told of the MRSA infection for almost 3 weeks, at which time it was a raging infection. I had 4 months of a pic line infusion daily and a wound vac for 3 months.

The infectious disease center said the surgery was botched by the surgeon and when the surgeon finally contacted the center it was almost fatal. When I asked why I was not told of the infection, the surgeon said he was trying to isolate the type of infection and when he could not he called the disease center.

It is now almost 5 months later, I still have MRSA and now a secondary infection that is presumed to be contracted at the Wound Center. I was advised to have the metal removed and I agreed. I was referred to a doctor in my town to remove the metal. He was unable to see me for 2 months due to his schedule. Once seen by the surgeon he said he wanted it out within 4 days.

It has been 8 weeks and still no surgery date has been given.

I was contacted last week by a plastic surgeon that was asked to help with the surgery, and after a visit was told that he may not have the skill set to help with the surgery, that I was to old for him to work on (as he is a pediatric plastic surgeon), that he did not like the medications I am taking, and he was going on vacation the day after he would be doing surgery and he would be to tired after the surgery to do so!

The next day the 1st surgeon called me and said the plastic surgeon that I had just seen was excited to take my case but he wanted to wait six weeks so the skin could heal more. Not what I was told by him!

I still have MRSA and the second staff infection, but the pic line had to be removed as it could only be left in my body for a certain period of time and that was up. Now I am taking 2 different antibiotics that are VERY strong and they are beginning to affect my kidney and liver.

But, I am still waiting for the metal to be removed! All because these doctors cannot get their schedules together. I was told to not go back to the original surgeon due to the mess he made during and prior to surgery. The surgery was done on 10/14/14 and it is now 3/2/15. I am still VERY sick and have MRSA.

My primary care doctor does not want me to change surgeons as he has a good reputation. While I await surgery I am unsure what my legal options are. I think I need help. Do you think I need legal assistance? Is there a case here? What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Contracted MRSA due to contaminated metal in cervical spine...":

Jeanne (Meridian, Idaho):

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium which causes different parts of the body to become infected. Treating MRSA is difficult because the bacterium is resistant to commonly used antibiotics.

It is unlikely the infectious disease center said to you the surgery was "botched" by the surgeon. Infectious disease centers NEVER use such language.

You may, or may not have the basis of a medical malpractice claim. The definition of medical malpractice can be summarized as an act or omission by a physician which falls beneath the standard of care of other physicians in the community, and that act or omission resulted in injury to the patient.

Medical malpractice may not have occurred if the MRSA you sustained would have occurred whether your surgeon was involved, or another surgeon under similar circumstances. In other words, if it is possible the infection might have occurred regardless of which surgeon performed the procedure, then malpractice did not occur.

Your injury is serious enough to require the advice and counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Find several med mal attorneys in your area and make appointments. Gather copies of all your medical records related to the MRSA and bring them with you.

After reviewing your medical records and speaking with you, the attorneys will give you a better idea if the viability of your claim and its chances of successfully winning a settlement or lawsuit.

Fortunately, medical malpractice attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Nor will they charge you any legal fees or other costs unless, and until they succeed in settling your malpractice claim or winning it at trial.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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