Patient claims wrong hand operation performed

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 14, 2005, 8:41am

An East St. Louis woman filed a medical malpractice suit against Harvey Mirly, M.D. and Belleville Memorial Hospital for performing a carpal tunnel surgery instead of a procedure to release a trigger thumb on her left hand.

Sandra Gaines claims Mirly made the mistake on Dec. 31, 2003, at Memorial.

According to the complaint, Gaines claims she overheard a nurse asking Mirly if he was going to release the trigger thumb after completing the carpal tunnel procedure. Gaines was able to hear the converation because she was only given a local anesthetic.

In the suit, Gaines claims that Mirly failed to refer to her medical charts prior to performing an undocumented and unnecessary carpal tunnel release.

Gaines claims Memorial failed to refer to the medical charts prior to the procedure, question her as to what procedure was to be performed, inform Mirly of the scheduled procedure and notify him of his mistake when it became readily apparent.

She claims to have suffered a permanent scar on her left hand and has had to receive physical therapy that would not have been necessary if the correct procedure had been performed. Gaines also claims she endured unnecessary pain and suffering above and beyond that associated with the correct procedure and was submitted to emotional distress.

Her suit is seeking damages in excess of $100,000 that will fairly and adequately compensate her for her actual damages plus costs of the suit.

Gaines is represented by Rodney Holmes of The Cochran Firm in St. Louis.

05 L 639 (20th Circuit)

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