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Orlando, Florida

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Ed Normand
Ed Normand
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 336

A Recent Case with Ed Normand (names have been changed)

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I recently resolved a medical malpractice case that raises serious concerns surrounding the granting of privileges to doctors by hospitals. Mary Smith went to a local hospital because she broke her right hip. She was operated on by Dr. Jones. When Mary woke up from surgery, her right leg below her knee was cold and discolored. The hip was dislocated and fractured during surgery, and it turns out that Dr. Jones damaged an artery in her leg during the surgery. Tests were ordered by the hospital to find out why Mary’s leg was cold and discolored, but those tests were never completed. In fact, the hospital did the wrong test! Dr. Jones operated again two more times, and another doctor tried to repair the damaged artery in Mary’s right leg. But by that point, it was too late – the lack of blood to Mary’s right leg lasted too long – her leg had to be amputated.

What Mary didn’t know before going into surgery the first time was that her surgeon, Dr. Jones, had suffered a debilitating stroke several years prior. Dr. Jones was left with permanent impairments both physically and psychologically. It turns out that there were severe restrictions on Dr. Jones’ medical license, but these restrictions were ignored by both Dr. Jones and the hospital where Mary went. According to the restrictions, Dr. Jones was permitted to practice medicine, but he wasn’t permitted to operate past 12 noon, wasn’t permitted to be the doctor on call in the emergency room and had other restrictions. All of these restrictions were violated by Dr. Jones, and the hospital knew of these restrictions and still permitted Dr. Jones to practice medicine in their facility. Dr. Jones also had psychological problems from the stroke, notably negative personality changes. After having her leg amputated, Dr. Jones went into Mary’s hospital room right after the surgery for a post-operative visit. During that first post-operative visit, Dr. Jones decided to tell her a joke: "Do you know what they call a woman with one leg in Ireland? Eileen. Do you know what they call a woman with one leg in Japan? Irene." I kid you not!

Because of Mary’s age, she is unable to get a prosthetic leg, and is now bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. How a surgeon who suffered a stroke and had numerous restrictions on his medical license could still be permitted by a hospital to operate unsupervised is troubling. What is also troubling is that no one at the hospital told Mary about her doctor’s condition. One of the principles of the American healthcare system is that we have choice. We can chose what hospital we go to, what doctor to see, and what treatment to get done. Unfortunately for Mary, the hospital granted Dr. Jones surgical privileges, and failed to inform her about Dr. Jones’ condition, or properly supervise a surgeon with such restrictions on his license. Mary was unable to make an informed decision, much to her detriment. If Mary knew that Dr. Jones had suffered a stroke and had limitations on his medical license that restricted when and how often he performed surgery, she would have chosen someone else to perform her surgery. Because Mary was kept in the dark about Dr. Jones’ medical past, what would have been a routine operation resulted in a permanent disability and the loss of her right leg. Hospitals need to be more rigorous in the granting of privileges to doctors, and thoroughly investigate those healthcare professionals permitted to work in its facilities.