Pennsylvania couple sues CAMC for infected wound

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 4, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A Pennsylvania couple is suing Charleston Area Medical Center for medical malpractice after a camping trip injury became infected.

CHARLESTON -- A Pennsylvania couple is suing Charleston Area Medical Center for medical malpractice after a camping trip injury became infected.

Drs. Molly John and Brandon Kyle Robinson and West Virginia University Medical Corporation were also named as defendants in the suit.

On July 7, 2008, Matthew C. Summerfield, who was a 33-year-old obese male measuring 6 feet tall and weighing 320 pounds, was on a camping trip in the Charleston area and was involved in an off-road dirt bike accident at approximately 7:30 p.m., after which he was taken to CAMC, according to a complaint filed June 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Summerfield claims he landed on his left leg and was dragged by the motorcycle on a rock-strewn dirt road and upon examination, was noted to have a complex laceration of the left medial knee measuring approximately 6 centimeters with a significant amount of tissue loss, as well as an adjacent lateral laceration with tissue loss measuring approximately 3 centimeters with moderate bleeding.

On July 8, 2008, at approximately 1:10 a.m., Summerfield was given Ancef, an antibiotic to prevent infection, and Dilaudid to control pain, according to the suit, and multiple foreign body debris was removed from both wounds.

Summerfield claims a planned discharge at 4 a.m. was canceled after he developed exquisite left knee pain and was admitted to the trauma service at CAMC under John's care, who planned to give him IV pain medication and oral Keflex every 12 hours to prevent bacterial infection.

An orthopedic consultation concluded that Summerfield suffered a left patella tendon rupture. Summerfield under surgery for repair of the left tendon and received Ancef during and after the surgery, according to the suit.

Summerfield claims during the inpatient admission he and his wife, Jennifer Summerfield, requested an infectious disease consult, which John refused.

Following his discharge on July 11, 2008, the Summerfields returned to Pennsylvania.

On July 12, 2008, Mr. Summerfield awoke with purulent drainage around the wound edges of the surgical site and a low-grade fever, according to the suit, and presented to the Emergency Department of UPMC-St. Margaret's Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., with foul smelling drainage from the left knee wound and necrosis of some of the skin edges.

Upon admittance to the hospital, Mr. Summerfield underwent incision and drainage of the left knee on July 13 and again on July 17. He was diagnosed July 28 with continued IV antibiotics to be taken every 12 hours, according to the suit.

The Summerfields claim the defendants were negligent in failing to order intravenous antibiotic therapy and failing to understand and appreciate that the traumatic woulds could be contaminated upon arrival at the hospital.

The Summerfields are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by David P. Chervenick and Lee W. Davis.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-1083

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