Woman sues doctors, hospital for sepsis and infection

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 25, 2005, 10:04am

Belleville Memorial Hospital

Four area doctors, a dentist and Belleville Memorial Hospital were targeted in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed April 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Nancy Barfield and her husband, Michael, claim Thomas Cahill, M.D., Seiichi Noda, M.D., Hon Chi Suen, M.D., Douglas Dothager, M.D., and Randy Parmlee, D.M.D, Midwest Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery Associates, Healthcare Physicians of Southern Illinois, and Belleville Memorial Hospital were responsible for the infection and sepsis she suffered stemming from a dental procedure and open heart surgery.

In her suit, Barfield claims that on April 29, 2003, Dr. Noda performed an open heart surgery while she was facing dental abscesses that were left untreated before the surgery.

The Barfields, who are seeking at least $450,000, are represented by Joseph Rubin of Clayton and Richard Sharrard of Edwardsville.

According to the complaint, Barfield developed infection and sepsis, resulting in permanent, significant bodily disfigurement.

“Defendants Cahill, Noda, Dothager and Suen consulted with Parmlee in the course of failing to timely and properly treat Barfield’s dental abscesses,” the complaint states.

Barfield also claims the doctors failed to:

  • determine her clinical condition before surgery
  • supervise her care during her treatment
  • properly test her after discovery of her infection; and
  • minimize or eliminate risk of infection prior to her surgery.

    She also states that the defendants failed to obtain her informed consent for open heart surgery by not advising all of the risks and complications--including the risk of sepsis and infection.

    Barfield alleges Parmlee failed to provide warnings regarding the dangers posed by Barfield’s oral abscesses if open heart surgery were to be performed. She further claims Parmlee failed to properly medicate her with antibiotics to minimize or eliminate risk of infection or sepsis.

    “Memorial Hospital was further negligent in failing to adequately and timely supervise defendants Cahill, Noda, Dothager, and Suen... and in failing to continue to assess the competence of the defendants in the provision of vital medical and surgical care in failing to adequately review and supervise the medical care administered to Barfield,” the complaint states.

    As a result of the alleged negligence, Barfield claims she was caused to incur undue pain, suffering, discomfort, fright, humiliation, mental and emotional distress, injuries to her chest, and needless medical expenses, loss of wages, and loss of her ability to engage in her usual independent activities of daily living.

    Michael Barfield claims he was caused to suffer the loss of the services, society, companionship, assistance, care, felicity, comfort, affection and marital services of his wife. He is seeking a judgment in a sum deemed fair and reasonable by the jury plus all costs.

    05 L 244 (20th Circuit)

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