Inmate Foreign Body Ingestion Lawsuit

Anonymous v. Moubarek

Body IngestionThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Allegany County after a man did not receive adequate medical precautions to address the foreign body he ingested. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 7, 2018, and it is the 109th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institute of Cumberland accidentally swallowed part of a screw that had gotten mixed in with his soup. After reporting the incident to medical, the man underwent two x-rays which showed that he had ingested a foreign object. He was given a polyethylene glycol-electrolyte solution to assist with the passing of the screw fragment.

The man visited medical five more times over the next month. During each of these visits, the man complained of abdominal pain and blood in his stool. A doctor performed an exam and ordered several diagnostic tests, which showed no evidence of a bowel obstruction or soft tissue damage. The man was never provided with antibiotics or a tetanus booster.

On the fifth visit, the man reported that he passed the screw fragment. He continued to complain of bloody stools accompanied by a burning sensation, so a doctor prescribed a medication to help heal his internal cuts. When the man kept returning to medical over the next two months with continued complaints of pain, he was prescribed a laxative and underwent a fecal occult blood test, which came back with normal results.

Additional Comments
  • In about 80% of adult foreign body ingestion cases, the ingested object passes through the gastrointestinal tract without issue. Most patients are treated successfully with observation alone, but the standard of care is slightly different when the ingested object has a sharp point or edge. In this case, because the claimant's swallowed screw could have caused a perforation, his health care providers should have endoscopically retrieved the foreign body and performed an EGD examination of his esophageal lining.

  • If the claim was brought for the soup in the screw, the damages would also cover the same damages claim in the malpractice case. It would seem a lot easier to bring a claim alleging that a screw should not be in your soup than trying to bring a medical malpractice claim.

  • Usually, when you swallow a foreign object, it passes through your system. But there can be complications. It can cause chronic inflammation and it can also rub against the intestinal wall, eroding a hole in to the intestines. Sometimes, the object can create a hole in the intestine to enter which can lead to a good deal of trouble.

Jurisdiction
  • Allegany County, presumably
Defendants
  • A doctor at the prison
Negligence
  • Failing to prescribe antibiotics and/or a tetanus shot.
  • Failing to appreciate the claimant's potentially life-threatening situation.
Specific Counts Pled
  • As a result of the defendant's negligence, the claimant suffers periodic mid-section pains that restrict his mobility.
Plaintiff Firm/Attorneys
  • Pro se
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