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West Virginia Woman Says Hospital Negligence Caused Leg Amputation

Hospital NegligenceA West Virginia woman has filed a lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court claiming that hospital negligence led to the amputation of her right leg.

The complaint arises from allegations of failure to accurately diagnose, care, advise and observe her medical condition. She seeks to hold both Roane General Hospital and the individual doctors who provided her care responsible for her injuries.

Doctor negligence allegedly results in amputation

The West Virginia woman who filed the lawsuit, Sandra Ellis, visited the emergency room at Roane General Hospital in August of 2011 complaining that she had been experiencing pain and swelling in her lower right leg for the past five days.

One of two physicians accused of doctor negligence, Dr. Daniel B. Prudich, examined Ms. Ellis and diagnosed her with right leg edema.  Dr. Prudich advised Ms. Ellis to follow up with her primary care physician, Doctor Maria L. Kessell.  Kessell is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Ms. Ellis claims she was subsequently examined three times in August, September and October.  Her first follow-up visit after the initial appointment occurred at Roane General on August 31 when Ms. Ellis followed up with Dr. Kessell. On the visit in August, Dr. Kessell identified the presence of peripheral edema.

Dr. Kessell prescribed a diuretic, and ordered both a chest x-ray and an echocardiogram.  Ms. Ellis was told at this August visit to follow up in one month, and during a subsequent examination on September 27 she was diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease by a vascular surgeon named Dr. Patrick Stone.

Unfortunately, the diagnoses and medical attention received by Ms. Ellis did not resolve underlying problems the patient was experiencing.

Claims of hospital negligence cited in lawsuit

On October 17, 2011, Ms. Ellis visited Charleston Area Medical Center’s emergency department complaining of a foot infection and foot pain. Ms. Ellis indicates that an examination of her right foot at this time revealed clear evidence that deep necrosis had occurred. Her foot was emitting a foul smell and the necrosis had caused significant damage.

The treatment recommended to Ms. Ellis was amputation. On October 19, a below-the-knee amputation of her right leg was performed. A subsequent operation on October 24 amputated her leg above-the-knee.

Ms. Ellis believes that her amputation was caused by hospital negligence since Dr. Kessell and Dr. Prudich failed to accurately diagnose, monitor and provide appropriate care.  Her lawsuit is against both of these physicians as well as Hospital Development Co., which employed the doctors who she alleges caused her harm.  Ms. Ellis’ husband is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the physicians and hospitals. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation including damages for non-economic loss.

To prevail in her lawsuit, the plaintiff will need to demonstrate that a reasonable healthcare provider would have offered a more accurate diagnosis and/or a higher standard of care and that the providers who treated her offered unacceptably substandard treatment.  Depending on the finding of facts, the physicians and/or the hospital facility may found responsible for the harm inflicted on the plaintiff.

The West Virginia record, Couple sue Roane General Hospital for medical malpractice,