Arm had to be amputated, med mal claim alleges

Ann Knef Feb. 5, 2008, 4:20am

Gerald Heck claims his right arm had to be amputated below the elbow due to medical negligence, according to a suit filed Jan. 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against St. Elizabeth's Hospital and Heck's treating physicians.

Heck claims that between Feb. 12, 2006, and March 8, 2006, the hospital and co-defendants Healthcare Physicians of Southern Illinois, Matthew D. Hageman, M.D. and Douglas W. Dothager, M.D. failed to use the skill and care ordinarily sued by reasonably well-qualified health care providers.

The defendants allegedly failed to order and obtain central line access, failed to document an IV site on Heck's arm when his arm was found to be cold and compromised following administration of Levophed, failed to check the site and arm hourly when Levophed was infusing peripherally and failed to have safe policies guiding the infusions of pressors and other vesicants, the complaint states.

Represented by Joseph A. Bartholomew of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin of Belleville, Heck is seeking in excess of $200,000 in damages.

Heck claims medical expenses and loss of large sums of money from an impairment to his earning capacity.

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