The Nuance of Medication
Clifton Acord and Richard Mangan
Considering potential complications in a surgical setting is central to a provider’s considerations. But anticipating every possible outcome, no matter how obscure or unexpected, can stretch beyond the reasonable expectations of those delivering care.
In a recent medical negligence case, Rissman attorneys Cliff Acord and Richard Mangan navigated a complex defense centered around the untimely death of the plaintiff’s spouse, who filed against the surgeon and associated hospital following emergency surgery.
The defendant scheduled the patient for a hemiarthroplasty, and didn’t order a preoperative nasal swab for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), though the decedent was at high risk for healing complications. At the time of surgery, the defendant prescribed medication as a prophylactic prior to surgery.
Following his discharge, the decedent developed a MRSA infection, and the plaintiff alleged that the clinician’s choice of medication was a contributor to the patient’s death.
The defendant and her practice filed a motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff, arguing that the plaintiff’s own expert had testified that the defendant’s selection of antibiotics would not have more likely than not prevented the MRSA infection.
The surgeon and practice filed a motion for summary judgment, and the court granted the motion, dismissing the surgeon from the action. The claims against the hospital remain pending.