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West Virginia physician negligence suit claims wrong device implanted

Medical devices aren't something that many people think about unless they need them. Like people, medical devices come in different sizes. West Virginia surgeons who carelessly implant the wrong device are liable for patient injuries.

A woman with joint disease had knee replacement surgery in 2009. Two months following the arthroplasty, the woman had another procedure under anesthesia to improve movement in her left knee, where the device was implanted. Before the end of the year, the patient contacted the physician and reported she had fallen.

The accident was the first of several falls over the following months. During a June 2010 visit with the surgeon, the woman said she continued to experience pain and swelling in the knee. The same story was told in subsequent visits in March and April of 2012.

The surgeon ordered an X-ray and told the patient there were no problems with the implant. The woman sought a second doctor's opinion. In August 2012, under the new surgeon's care, the patient had the old device removed and replaced.

The revision surgery was followed by a medical malpractice lawsuit, filed last month in Wheeling by the patient and her husband, against the surgeon who implanted the first device. The complaint alleged the doctor failed to detect the original left knee device was loose and implanted a device that was too big for the patient.

The patient stated the surgeon's negligence had caused knee instability, the multiple falls and needless pain and suffering. The woman's husband requested compensation for damages to the couple's marriage including loss of affection and consortium. The surgeon is accused of breaching a duty of care all doctors have to safeguard patients.

Doctors' mistakes caused by negligence constitute medical malpractice. Due to time constraints for filing liability lawsuits, patients are encouraged to seek legal guidance as quickly as possible after a medical injury is discovered.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Couple accuse doctor of malpractice" Kyla Asbury, May. 15, 2014

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