Eric G. Johnson, Esq., successfully defended a case of pediatric medical malpractice brought on behalf of an infant plaintiff, then age 11, against the defendant Nurse Practitioner for the alleged failure to timely diagnose and treat the patient with an infected, septic knee or to refer him for emergent treatment. The patient was ultimately diagnosed with a MRSA infection of the right knee and admitted to SUNY Upstate for several weeks (including 4 weeks in the PICU) where he was in septic toxic shock. He was intubated and treated with IV antibiotics via PICC line, and underwent three irrigation and debridement procedures of his affected knee. He developed necrotizing pneumonitis which required a mini-thoracotomy procedure, and developed bilateral DVTs as a result of the sepsis for which he had an IVC filter placed in his subclavian vein. This filter became permanent, and he now requires permanent daily Lovenox injections.
Plaintiff presented an expert in pediatrics and infectious disease who testified that the defendant was negligent in her evaluation of the patient at the time of a single office visit on 8/15/07, and in failing to recognize that his presenting complaints were consistent with an emergent knee infection that required immediate referral to an orthopedic surgeon or emergency room. The plaintiff’s expert testified that had such earlier referral been made, there would have been earlier diagnosis and treatment, and much of the plaintiff’s problems and treatments could have been avoided.
Defendant called a pediatrician and infectious disease expert to refute these claims.
The jury deliberated less than an hour and returned a unanimous verdict for the defense. The case was tried in Supreme Court, Oneida County, Hon. David A. Murad, J.S.C., presiding.