Knee replacement nightmare

I had a knee replacement about 1 1/2 years ago. Before the surgery I tested positive for staph through a nasal swab. The surgery went well. Then, 10 months ago, the knee swelled up and I went back to the doctor. He drained some fluid out and as soon as he saw the color of it he put me in the hospital and did surgery the next morning to flush out the knee of the staph that had set there. I was put on interveners fed antibiotics which my wife and I injected every day for 12 weeks. After that I took oral antibiotic for quite a while. As soon as the prescription ran out the infection came back. I was sent to a different doctor who specializes in my problem. He removed the knee replacement and put in a cement antibiotic spacer in with a rod through my upper and lower leg bones. I was put on an antibiotic pump that feed the meds constantly. It’s a different med that’s specifically for fighting staph. Why wasn’t this med given the first time. In about 10 weeks he is putting in a new knee. Until then I cannot bend at the knee and I have a brace on it because I have no knee I believe I have been through unnecessary pain and inconvenience. Not only me, but my whole family. Please let me know if any compensation can be received. This has been a true nightmare.

Asked on May 5, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with that doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports from both doctors, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.
If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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