An Edwardsville man claims he was forced to endure three surgeries after a doctor failed to properly diagnose his abdominal problems.
Michael R. Miller filed a lawsuit Oct. 9 in Madison County Circuit Court against Southwestern Illinois Health Facilities doing business as Anderson Hospital, Midwest Emergency Department Services and Dr. Christopher T. Cruz.
In his complaint, Miller alleges he visiting Anderson’s emergency room department on Feb. 6 with complaints of abdominal and left flank pain. During his visit, Miller informed hospital staff that he had undergone a past gastric bypass surgery, according to the complaint.
Despite this knowledge and the fact that Miller’s white blood cell count was increasing while he continued to complain of nausea and vomiting, Cruz discharged Miller at 1:21 a.m. on Feb. 7, the suit states. Before sending Miller home, Cruz had mistakenly concluded that Miller was suffering from fluid in his pelvis, the complaint says.
In fact, a copy of the CT scan Cruz had ordered indicated a closed-loop obstruction in Miller’s left abdomen, Miller claims. However, Cruz failed to consult with a radiologist before he dismissed Miller from the hospital, according to the complaint.
It wasn’t until Miller arrived back at the emergency room when a surgeon discovered the closed-loop obstruction during an exploratory surgery on Feb. 7, the suit states.
“Michael R. Miller ultimately required three additional surgeries for anastomic leaks as well as a lengthy hospitalization at Memorial Medical Center through March 19, 2012, for complications of the closed-loop obstruction, including but not limited to gangrene of the alimentary limb, anastomic leaks, peritonitis, an extensive intra-abdominal hematoma, abdominal abscesses and pneumonia,” the complaint says.
Because of Cruz’s care, Miller claims he sustained severe and permanent damages, was hindered from attending to his usual duties and affairs and suffered great pain and anguish, the suit states. He also suffered from disabilities, lost his ability to enjoy a normal life and incurred substantial medical costs, the complaint says.
In his complaint, Miller seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.
Christopher A. Wright and Brian P. Millikan of Millikan Wright in St. Louis will be representing him.
Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1623.