Infected Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

Caswell v. Acute Care Surgeons

Woman in DistressThis surgical malpractice claim was filed in Anne Arundel County when a surgeon negligently repaired a woman's ventral hernia with synthetic mesh in spite of her concurrent colonic necrosis. The mesh became infected and the woman had to undergo additional treatment. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on January 16, 2018, and it is the 27th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A woman with a large ventral hernia, gangrene of her colon, and an abscess presented for surgical care. Her physician performed a procedure to resect the necrotic part of her colon, reattach the separated bowel segments, and place a synthetic mesh over the herniated area.

After the surgery, the woman developed multiple abdominal wall abscesses and fluid collections. It had been a mistake for her doctor to place a synthetic hernia mesh into an area of her body that was obviously contaminated, and it only served to aggravate the infections. In spite of the obvious contamination, there was a delay in diagnosing the infected mesh, causing the woman to suffer multiple unnecessary procedures during which the mesh was negligently kept in place.

As a result of the surgeon's deviation from the standard of medical care, the woman required many additional medical procedures including catheter placements, incision and drainages, debridement, lysis of adhesions, recurrent hernia repair, biologic mesh implantation, and an attempted abdominal wall reconstruction.

Additional Comments
  • Surgical mesh can be used to provide additional support to weak tissue during a ventral hernia repair, making sure that the bowel is kept in its proper place; but the mesh is a controversial medical device. According to the FDA, many hernia repair complications, including pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and perforation, have been associated with recalled mesh products.

  • In a certain regard, this claim could also be classified as a post-surgery infection case. Just as with any other type of infection, early diagnosis and treatment can significantly increase the odds of a positive outcome. In this claim, because the patient had a medical history of necrosis, it should have been quick and easy to appreciate her infection.

Jurisdiction
  • Anne Arundel County
Defendants
  • A general surgeon
  • Acute Care Surgeons
Negligence
  • Failing to perform a proper hernia repair based on the claimant's medical history.
  • Failing to timely diagnose and treat the infected synthetic hernia mesh.
Specific Counts Pled
  • The claimant suffered severe, permanent, and painful bodily injury, mental anguish, and loss of income due to her surgeon's negligence.

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