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Poorly fitting prosthesis leads to medical negligence lawsuit

A Pennsylvania man whose leg was amputated after an automobile accident in 1987 has used the same prosthetics supplier for 27 years. Due to normal usage, the artificial limb needs replacement at times, and he says that the company's expertise has always impressed him. However, he claims to have received unacceptable service from the company in September last year and has recently filed a claim of medical negligence against it.

He explained how a cast of the part of the leg where the prosthesis has to fit had been made on all previous occasions. This ensured a proper fit, accommodating all disfigurements that may be present. However, when he went for a replacement in September, only measurements were taken, and no cast was made. The resulting artificial limb fit poorly, and after wearing it for two days, his leg was severely inflamed and extremely painful. Upon return to the institution, he was instructed to use soap to ease the positioning of the artificial leg rather than the pull sock he had been using.

The lawsuit states that the condition of the man's leg deteriorated and the excruciating pain forced him to go to an emergency room. A vascular surgeon promptly hospitalized him for treatment of an acute infection, along with the draining of an abscess that had formed on his thigh. After five days in the hospital, he was transferred to a care facility for extended care, followed by the need for a nurse to monitor the wound on a daily basis.

The claim further alleges that, upon a return visit to the prosthetics manufacturer, the defendant instructed the plaintiff to continue wearing the artificial limb that had caused the pain and suffering, along with medical expenses. The vascular surgeon suggested he discard the prosthesis until the leg fully recovered. The plaintiff accuses the defendant of breaching its duty to provide care of an acceptable standard, along with failing to act upon the severity of the infection that had developed in his leg. Any individuals who believe they have been the victims of medical negligence are entitled to file a law suit seeking financial damages in a Pennsylvania civil court.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Prosthetics clinic sued for negligence over faulty limb", Jim Boyle, Oct. 9, 2014

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