Decedent presented to co-defendant hospital with post-operative complaints of pain and redness surrounding the incisional sites following a femoral-to-femoral bypass graft for decreased circulation performed by co-defendant vascular surgeon. Our client, another vascular surgeon, admitted the patient out of concern for post-operative infection. Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that defendant physicians and hospital failed to timely call for consults by Allergy and Dermatology to rule out dermatitis and/or allergic reaction and to rule out and properly treat pyoderma gangrenosum. Pyoderma gangrenosum is a diagnosis of exclusion, therefore, other causes of the patient’s symptoms had to be ruled out before the diagnosis was made and treatment started.
Six days into the admission, infection was ruled out as a cause of the patient’s condition. Dermatology was immediately called and consulted on the patient the following day. Dermatology placed allergic reaction and pyoderma gangrenosum in the patient’s differential diagnosis. Allergic reaction testing was commenced but not yet completed. The patient refused biopsy to assist with the diagnosis. Three weeks into the admission, the patient was taken from the hospital against medical advice to another facility. With the benefit of defendant hospital’s testing, the patient was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum at the subsequent hospital whereat treatment was commenced. The patient ultimately succumbed to pneumonia one month into the admission at the subsequent treating hospital.
After a three-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for all defendants, finding none of the defendants deviated from the standards of care.