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Staten Island jury clears orthopedic surgeon in death of 49 year-old hip replacement patient.

The patient, a husband and father of two, had been on replacement steroid (Prednisone) therapy since having his pituitary gland removed at age 20. The Prednisone had caused avascular necrosis within the right hip joint, and collapse of the femoral head. In clearing the patient for surgery, his endocrinologist recommended that he receive pre and post-operative intravenous stress dose steroids in addition to his usual maintenance doses. This was intended to help him deal with the added stress and trauma of surgery and to maintain hemodynamic stability. He did not receive them, and after the surgery manifested signs and symptoms (including elevated liver enzymes and ammonia levels, confusion, agitation and eventually aspiration) which plaintiff attributed to the orthopedic surgeon's failure to ensure that his patient received his medication. The patient arrested on post-op day four, after becoming hemodynamically unstable, suffered anoxic brain injury and died six weeks later. The jury found that the orthopedist was not responsible for ensuring that his patient receive stress or increased doses of steroids in the perioperative period and in the days following the surgery.

Categories: Defense Verdict
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