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California Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Er Docs Exacerbated Injury

A Los Angeles woman has filed a California medical malpractice lawsuit after emergency room doctors caused more harm than good following a hand injury, Reuters reports.

The Facts of the Case

According to the lawsuit, Mayra Cerna was treated in the emergency room of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center for a hand laceration after her right hand broke through a glass pane on a kitchen cabinet. Cerna alleges that the treating physician failed to recognize that a piece of glass remained in her hand, ultimately causing permanent loss of sensation and movement of her dominant right hand.

According to the complaint, the defendant ER doctor belittled Cerna’s complaints of pain, ignored her request for an X-ray, and failed to assess her hand and finger function before suturing her lacerations and discharging her from the hospital.

Cerna also claims that the doctors who treated her when she returned to the hospital to have her sutures removed also ignored her signs and symptoms of nerve damage. According to the complaint, when she told them that she was experiencing a loss of sensation in parts of her hand, the doctors began to rapidly manipulate her wrist and hand forward and backward. During this manipulation, Cerna alleges that she heard a loud popping noise and was immediately unable to move her right thumb, index finger and middle finger.

Subsequent X-rays revealed the presence of a “triangular-shaped piece of glass” inside her wrist, the suit says. A hand surgeon later removed the piece of glass, which had severed a nerve and two tendons the control movement of the first three fingers, the suit says.

The Medical Malpractice Claims

Cerna alleges she suffered permanent loss of sensation and movement of her dominant right hand because the defendants failed to recognize or investigate the presence of glass in her wrist, despite her repeated requests for further examination.

She also maintains that the defendants breached the standard of care when they manipulated her hand and wrist despite her complaints of symptoms indicative of nerve and tendon damage, the suit says.

Cerna is seeking damages for her past and future medical and therapy expenses, lost wages, costs of job rehabilitation and retraining, emotional pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.