Post-Procedure Infection Lawsuit in Anne Arundel County

Schafer v. Chesapeake Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center, P.A.

Doctor Checking HandThis is a medical malpractice cased filed by a man against defendant doctors for failing to prescribe antibiotics in Anne Arundel County. It was filed in Health Claims on April 27, 2017 and it is the 211th medical malpractice case filed in 2017 in Maryland.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A man suffers an accidental self-inflicted laceration to his left hand while cleaning an animal. The man goes to Chesapeake Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center and sees defendant doctor. The defendant doctor diagnoses the man with a laceration of the extensor muscle, fascia, and tendon of the left middle finger at both the wrist and hand level and schedules an extensor tendon repair. Prior to and after the extensor tendon repair, the man is not prescribed any antibiotics.

After several days, the man experiences increased pain in this left hand and arm. There is also swelling and redness going up from his hand to his elbow. The man goes back to Chesapeake Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center and he is sent to Baltimore Washington Medical Center's emergency department to begin the administration of IV antibiotics and a debridement of the abscess. The wound on his hand has become infected. The man is sent to surgery for a synovectomy to be performed.

The man continued to heal, but had to have a left metacarpophalangeal join arthroplasty of the left middle finger and extensor digitorum communis tendon reconstruction with palmaris longus tendon graft. This procedure is performed because of the severe infectious injury that the man suffered. The tendon develops arthritis at the joint. The man continues to heal; however, is advised that pain will fluctuate with changes in the weather.

Additional Comments
  • Orthopedic surgeons do not pay a lot in medical malpractice insurance. Why? Claims against orthopedic doctors are extremely rare.
  • The issue in this cases is was there is a meaningful risk of infection and what did the standard of care require the physician to prescribe an oral antibiotic to the patient after this extensor tendon repair.
Jurisdiction
  • Anne Arundel County
Defendants
  • Chesapeake Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, P.A.
  • A hand surgeon at Chesapeake Orthopedic
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Baltimore Washington Medical Center
Negligence
  • Failing to consider the circumstances of the patient's injury in making treatment decisions
  • Failing to timely and appropriately assess and diagnose patient's presenting condition
  • Failing to recognize that patient was at an increased risk for developing an infection
  • Failing to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics on multiple occasions
Specific Counts Pled
  • Negligence
  • Loss of Consortium
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