Saturday, July 27, 2013

Infection Ate Shoulder, Kaiser Patient Claims

Infection Ate Shoulder, Kaiser Patient Claims
Courthouse News Service
July 25, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CN) - Kaiser's failure to diagnose and treat a woman's oozing bone infection resulted in part of her shoulder being eaten away, she claims in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. Billie Jo and Ron Bonolis have sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group for malpractice and loss of consortium.

After Mrs. Bonolis had shoulder surgery, her Kaiser doctor thought she had an infection of the shoulder tissue for five months, when it actually was osteomyelitis, a bone infection, her complaint says. Within a month of the surgery, an MRI report suggested that the problem may be osteomyelitis, but no further testing was done, according to the complaint.

Three months after the surgery, and after several courses of antibiotics and attempts to clean out the surgical area, an infection consultant reported that a piece of bone used as an "anchor" during the surgery, was positive for MRSA, a "superbug" resistant to antibiotics, according to the complaint.

The infection had gone so long unchecked that it had eaten away the humoral head (the ball in the socket), and her new doctor was unable to estimate how many surgeries it would take to get rid of the painful infection, according to the complaint.

Once more of the bone had been removed to get rid of the infection, and Mrs. Bonolis was able to have her shoulder replaced, she went through a painful recovery and has suffered great mental anguish, in part due to knowing that she could have died from a superbug infection.

Mrs. Bonolis has a limited range of motion in her dominant arm and is no longer able to write normally, crochet, swim or take care of her grandchildren, among other things. Also, she needs help with personal hygiene, such as washing and combing her hair.

The new doctor told her it is unlikely that she will ever have full use of the right shoulder, the complaint says.

Roy L. Mason represents the plaintiffs, who are seeking $75,000.

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