Patient Whose Doctor Delayed Surgery Wins $2.85 Million
A Florida man whose doctor delayed surgery on his arm to give him a CAT scan won $2.85 million for the delay that caused him to end up paralyzed from the waist down.
Randy Green was taken to the hospital after an April 2004 car wreck that severed arteries in his forearm. While he was being prepared for surgery on his arm, orthopedic surgeon Wayne Bauerle took him out of the surgery waiting area to perform a CAT scan on his knee, which was also injured in the accident.
Green suffered cardiac arrest and permanent paralysis of his legs.
Green sued the orthopedic surgeon for medical malpractice, arguing that the 30-minute delay caused a spinal cord injury that led to paralysis.
At trial, Green’s attorney, O. Grady Query, argued that Green’s vital signs were dangerously low while he was in line for surgery and he should not have been taken out of line for the CAT scan on his knee.
“Doctors from Harvard Medical School, Charleston and Connecticut testified that this was an indication that the patient was on the verge of a cardiac arrest and that to interrupt the treatment of the arm was negligent,” said Query, who added that Green’s blood pressure at the time was 72 over 56.
Even doctors who testified on behalf of the orthopedic surgeon admitted at trial that Green shouldn’t have been diverted with such warning signs, according to Query.
After the cardiac arrest, Green’s blood pressure and pulse were zero and the blood flow to his body stopped for 8 to 27 minutes, Query said.
A jury awarded $2.3 million to Green and $550,000 to his wife, Ann.
The Greens also sued the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in South Carolina, where the incident occurred, and they settled out of court for a confidential amount.