MORGANTOWN – A Monongalia County couple is suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors after they claim its hospital, through one of its surgeons, breached the standard of care.

On July 6, 2014, Nancy J. Simpkins went to WVU Hospitals Emergency Department and was admitted for abdominal pain due to an incarcerated hernia, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Nancy Simpkins and Ronald Simpkins claim Dr. Alan A. Thomay performed an exploratory surgery on July 7, 2014, and four days later, Nancy Simpkins was discharge to go home.

On July 18, 2014, Thomay saw Nancy Simpkins at WVU Healthcare for post-op evaluation and she was reported to be doing well, without complications and was advised to return in one week, according to the suit.

The Simpkinses claim Nancy Simpkins returned on July 25, 2014, where she had an obvious wound infection, which was opened and drained, and the Jackson-Pratt drain was discontinued.

Despite her being a diabetic and on insulin, and despite there being purulent drainage in the drain itself, no oral or IV antibiotics were ordered, according to the suit.

The Simpkinses claim Nancy Simpkins returned to Thomay on multiple occasions and wound infections were identified each time and she underwent at least two openings of the wound, resulting in two to three different openings in the wound and, during the last visit, there was brownish drainage that was expressed.

Nancy Simpkins then became septic and had to undergo further intervention, including treatment of her shock and infection, according to the suit.

Thomay breached and deviated from the applicable standard of care by failing to diagnose Nancy Simpkins with a deep, underlying soft tissue infection and also failed to collect and culture the drainage from the wound, according to the suit.

The Simpkinses are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by J. Michael Benninger of Benninger Law.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 16-C-532

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