Staph Infection Got Into Bone, Man Says
1-22-2014 22:47:00

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - A post-surgical staph infection got into a man’s leg bone, and Kaiser’s confusion about insurance coverage kept him from getting the right treatment, he claims in a lawsuit filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.
     George Steffani sued podiatrist Lindsay H. Russell, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals for medical malpractice and personal injury.
     Steffani broke his left ankle in a motorcycle accident in May 2012 and “underwent numerous medical procedures and received extended care,” at a Kaiser hospital in Sacramento, according to the complaint.
     On Sept. 4, Steffani says he went to Kaiser to have an external orthopedic fixation device removed, an out-patient surgical procedure. Dr. Lindsay Russell “determined the fracture sites of Mr. Steffani’s fibula and medial malleolus appeared to be stable with progressive healing,” the complaint states. He says he was sent home with a prescription for Oxycodone-Acetominophen and told to stop taking Ciprofloxacin – a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
     At a follow-up appointment nine days later, Dr. Russell noted “mild post-op edema,” “some mild proximal edge necrosis, no signs of infection, some open edges,”  “and some mild odor from wounds,” the complaint states. Dr. Russell took cultures and ordered oral antibiotics, it continues.
     Two days later, lab results of the cultures revealed staphylococcus aureus, which was followed by more prescriptions from Dr. Russell, according to the complaint.
     The next date mentioned in the complaint is Nov. 19, when Steffani was diagnosed with “acute osteomyelitis,” a bone infection, “with acute inflammation in surrounding tissue,” it states.
     The complaint continues: “Mr. Steffani was instructed to continue with a negative pressure wound system vac. Mr. Steffani informed defendants he was having problems obtaining a wound vac system per the doctors orders from an outside company due to uncertainty of payment and defendants advised they were unable to help in this regard. Consequently, Mr. Steffani was unable to obtain a wound vac system and was not admitted to Kaiser South Sacramento for wound vac care.”
     Ultimately, Steffani says, he was indigent services coverage, and Kaiser told him “he would need to seek medical care and treatment with a different health care provider.”
     Steffani blames Kaiser for his “permanent serious injuries” and “great physical and emotional pain and suffering.”
     Plaintiff seeks general damages, medical expenses, current and future lost wages, prejudgment interest and costs of suit. He is represented by Greg A. Meyer of Sacramento.