Six Doctors Missed Spinal Infection, Paralyzed Man Says
8-4-2014 22:13:00

     ROCKVILLE, Md. (CN) - Six doctors failed to catch a man’s spinal infection in time, the now paralyzed man claims in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County.

     Johnny B. Wright and his wife Linda E. Wright sued Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., Holy Cross Health, Inc., Sunrise Medical Group, LLC t/a Sunrise Medical Group and two Holy Cross doctors – Theodore E. Igwebe and Rachel Vile, for medical negligence and loss of consortium.
     The Wrights also sued Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in District of Columbia Superior Court in Oct. 2013.
     According to the Wrights’ current lawsuit, Johnny Wright went to the Emergency Room at non-party Doctor’s Community Hospital in Dec. 2010 “with complaints of pain in his right hand and wrist and back pain. He was diagnosed with a wrist strain, back strain and inflammatory arthritis.”
     The next morning Wright called a Kaiser advice nurse, told her about his visit to Doctor’s Community Hospital and said the medication he had been prescribed was not working.
     Later that morning he saw a doctor at Kaiser who “obtained an x-ray of Mr. Wright’s neck for ‘neck pain.’ There were no significant findings on the neck x-ray,” the complaint states. The doctor gave him Toradol, Prednisone and Oxycodone for neck pain and sent him home, according to the complaint.
     The doctor also obtained a complete blood count and the results came back that afternoon, showing elevated white blood cells, according to the complaint. “These results indicated that plaintiff was suffering from a significant infection. However, as it was now the weekend, no effort was made to notify plaintiff of these laboratory results and plaintiff was not treated for an infection,” the complaint states.
     Twice during that weekend, “Linda E. Wright called the Kaiser advice nurse to report that her husband’s condition was deteriorating. She reported that Mr. Wright had a fever, was lethargic, and continued to have severe arm and neck pain. Linda Wright was not informed of the lab results and was advised to continue the prescribed treatment,” the complaint states.
     Sunday night Wright was taken to non-party Prince George’s Hospital, it continues. Early the next morning, at Kaiser’s request, he was transferred to Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated by three more Kaiser doctors and the two defendant doctors, Dr. Igwebe and Dr. Vile, it says.
     That morning, Wright “suffered an apparent arrest and a code blue was called. Plaintiff was suffering from a hemorrhage from an antral ulcer from the pain medications he had been taking,” the complaint states.
     Three days later Wright was given an MRI to “rule out an infection of his spine,” the complaint states. The MRI showed swelling and fluid and the radiologist recommended repeating the exam under sedation, but the doctors did not follow that advice, according to the complaint.
     Two days later, on Christmas day, a nurse noticed Wright was unable to move his legs and barely able to move his arms, according to the complaint. MRIs “demonstrated progression of Mr. Wright’s spinal infection as well as compression of his spinal cord,” it states.
     Surgery was performed to relieve the pressure, and an abscess removed, but “plaintiff Johnny B. Wright had already suffered permanent neurologic injuries,” and he was paralyzed, according to the complaint.
     Johnny and Linda Wright seek a jury trial, interest and costs. They are represented by John J. Sellinger of Greenberg & Bederman in Silver Spring.