In the hours after surgery, Hay reported tremendous pain and numbness as she recovered.
Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm today confirmed filing of a medical misconduct lawsuit in DeKalb County against Atlanta Brain and Spine Care and other defendants. The suit arises from surgical errors and mistakes in addressing problems after surgery. According to the complaint:
On October 15, 2018, Pamela Hay – a 67-year-old Georgia resident with back pain – met with Dr. Roger Frankel, a neurosurgeon at Piedmont Hospitals. Dr. Frankel recommended surgery to remove a disc and place an implant in Hays spine.
Dr. Frankel performed the operation on Hay. During the procedure, Dr. Frankel et al. Seven x-rays. The images showed that the implant was placed too close to the spinal cord. The pictures also showed that the screws that held the implant in place likely entered the spinal canal and the area where nerve roots exit the spinal cord. Based on the x-rays, Dr. Frankel should reposition the implant and screws. Had he done this, neurological injury could likely have been avoided. But he didn’t reposition the implant and screws.
In the hours after surgery, Hay reported tremendous pain and numbness as she recovered. Circumstances dictated that Dr. Frankel immediately examined the X-rays. Had he done this, he would have seen the implant and screws need to be repositioned and he could have taken Hay to the operating room immediately to reposition the cage and screws. But Dr. Frankel didn’t do any of that.
Doctor looking at an x-ray; Image courtesy of rawpixel.com via Unsplash, https://unsplash.com
Instead, Dr. Frankel, his “plan” is that Pamela would “probably” “spontaneously” improve. A number of other doctors from Atlanta Brain and Spine Care found that Pamela had difficulty walking and numbness on the soles of her feet. But no one examined to find out that the cage and screws were misplaced and appeared on Pamela’s nerve roots and cauda equina. Dr. Frankel did not re-examine Hay for the remainder of that hospital stay, which lasted an additional six days, until Dr. Frankel Hay was released into a qualified care facility.
Meanwhile, Hay used a walker and suffered from chronic pain. He obtained a second opinion on the operation and follow-up treatment. Dr. Frankel eventually performed a second operation months after the original operation. Hay’s pain and suffering continued.
“Pamela Hay’s operation was botched by the doctor at Piedmont Hospital, leaving her with severe, life-changing limitations that persist to this day,” explains Lloyd Bell. “If Dr. Frankel had properly checked the pictures he had ordered, he would have seen that the cage was too far back and the screws were inserted too deep. But he and the other attending doctors who were in charge of Pamela Hays care ignored the warning signs, dismissed the red flags and had the transplanted bone cage permanently placed in the wrong place for normal spinal function. When we file a lawsuit today, we understand that we cannot repair Pamela’s spine or relieve her pain. But we hope to advance her life with the means to cope with her now permanent disability as well as possible. We also hope that making these doctors accountable for their actions will reduce the risk of other people like Pamela Hay suffering. “
For more information on Bell law firm’s success in helping victims of medical malpractice, please visit: www.belllawfirm.com/results.
About the Bell Law Office
Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s premier law firm for victims of malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the company has reclaimed more than $ 100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and regional courts and has represented clients in more than 80 legal proceedings and hundreds of successful settlements. Bell law firm specializes in diagnosing misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and other types of misconduct, and has a strong legal background, a mastery of courtroom technology, and a compelling way of storytelling. In 2018, Daily Report, Atlanta’s leading legal news source named Bell Law Firm as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.