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Doctor Paralyzes Patient

This is a settlement for the Medical Malpractice lawsuit.

New York, NY: (Apr-09-08) Leopoldo Castillo brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against New York Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Woosup Michael Park, alleging that Castillo suffered spinal cord injury during surgery that left him paraplegic. The suit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, stated that during a June 19, 2003 visit to the hospital, Castillo complained of pain in his lower and mid back. Hospital officials stated that though he was originally diagnosed with pneumonia, his blood test results arrived the next day and showed an active staph infection.

The suit claimed that the hospital failed to contact Castillo to tell him of the actual diagnosis. Later, as Castillo's situation worsened, he was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on August 11th, and was diagnosed with spinal osteomyelitis, an inflammation within his spinal column. Castillo was given intravenous antibiotics in the hospital and continued them at home. He had to return to the hospital shortly after discharge only to learn that his spinal column showed further progression of the disease.

Following the prognosis, Castillo underwent spinal decompression surgery, where Dr. Woosup Michael Park used Surgicel, a fabric to inhibit bleeding. Experts in the field say that Surgicel is not recommended for use in the spine. Less than three hours after his 3:15 AM surgery, Castillo reported he couldn't feel or move his legs. Nothing was done to identify the problem until late afternoon when a myelogram was performed. During a second surgery, physicians found the Surgicel had expanded and compressed Castillo's spinal cord, rendering him a paraplegic.

As part of a settlement reached, the defendants agreed to resolve the allegations with a $3.7 million payout to Castillo. [YAHOO NEWS: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE FIRM WINS $3.7 MILLION SETTLEMENT]


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Published on Apr-10-08


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