Infected Skin Lesion Got Worse and Worse, Man Claims
5-22-2014 00:57:00

     UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) - A disabled man’s skin lesion took 19 weeks to heal because of Kaiser’s undertreatment, he claims in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County.

     Larry Brooks sued Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.

     Brooks has a paralyzing spinal injury stemming from a 2008 motorcycle accident, according to the complaint.

     In June 2010, Brooks saw a Kaiser doctor for a sore in his left groin area that he’d had for two weeks, the complaint states. At that time, the doctor noted it was a “several millimeter deep wound,” with some drainage but “no gross pus,” and gave Brooks a general surgery referral, according to the complaint.

     The next day, a physician assistant at the Kaiser Largo – General Surgery Center described it in her notes as a “5.5 x 1.5 x 1 cm open wound . . . with slight malodor,” according to the complaint.

     The complaint says Brooks saw two plastic surgeons in the next three weeks who both recommended debridement surgery, which was postponed while he was hospitalized at non-party Holy Cross Hospital for a small bowel obstruction.

     During that hospitalization, a nurse “described the wound as measuring 6.4 x 4.4 x 1cm and having 100 percent yellow slough in the wound bed and a foul odor,” the complaint states. Medical staff provided “local wound care and enzymatic debridement [and] a sharp debridement at the bedside,” according to the complaint.

     But a week after his release from Holy Cross, Brooks was admitted to non-party Suburban Hospital with a 102 degree fever. “There his left groin wound was described as a Stage 3 to Stage 4 ulcer with no visible discharge,” the complaint states.

     The complaint says a doctor noted it as a large open wound with exposed muscle, with necrosis at the base of the muscle. The doctor “was of the opinion that the wound would benefit from debridement with subsequent VAC placement and then closure,” and prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics, the complaint states.

     Brooks was then transferred to Holy Cross Hospital, where a different doctor prescribed local wound care only, before discharging him with prescriptions for different antibiotics, according to the complaint.

     On Aug. 19, Brooks’ plastic surgeon recommended “debridement of the site to be followed by a wound VAC if it could be contoured to the region,” and sent him back to Holy Cross Hospital where he had seven surgical procedures over the next nine weeks, according to the complaint. “When he was admitted, his left groin wound was foul smelling with pus that extended into the thigh as well as the groin,” the complaint states. The complaint states that all together, the wound treatment went on for 19 weeks.

     Brooks is represented by James W. Taglieri and Joyce M. Notarius in Washington, D.C.