Poke Leads to Infection, Man Claims
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – In a $750,000 medical malpractice lawsuit, a man claims a Kaiser doctor stuck her finger into his abdominal wound, causing a serious infection, in Multnomah County Superior Court.
Richard Nydam sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Dr. Tarajeet Kaur, and Northwest Permanente.
Nydam went to Kaiser in March 2014 to have part of his lower bowel surgically removed to treat diverticulitis, a disease where small pouches form in the wall of the colon. Though many people experience no symptoms, diverticulitis can cause abdominal pain, changes in bowel movement patterns, and bleeding, according to the University of California San Francisco's Center for Colorectal Surgery.
After surgery Nydam developed an incisional hernia, an area of weakness where there had been a surgical cut, through which intestines or fatty abdominal tissue bulges, according to an eMedicineHealth website. Kaiser repaired it seven months later and put a mesh over his lower abdomen.
About two weeks later, Nydam saw Dr. Kaur for a post-op visit. There was a bulge near the incision that could have been a collection of fluid or a swelling of clotted blood, but it was not red and had no other signs of infection, according to the complaint.
“Kaur opened the incision and there was an immediate return of bloody fluid that was evacuated with a syringe. Kaur then placed a finger into the wound and in contact with the mesh that was placed earlier. The mesh was exposed to the air during this process, as well as being exposed to contact by Kaur’s finger,” the complaint states. (Emphasis in original.)
Nydam claims the wound became infected soon afterward, oozing pus and causing chronic pain. He was later diagnosed with a severe infection down to the mesh, which had to be surgically removed and replaced.
He says Kaur should have known that making a wider than necessary incision to drain the fluid and touching the mesh with her finger would expose him to risk of bacteria seeding, and the severe pain, emotional distress, and physical disability that accompany an infected and chronically draining wound.
Nydam seeks $750,000 in noneconomic damages, plus court costs and other fees.
He is represented by William Savage.