CARIBOU, Maine — A Perham woman was awarded $1.2 million in damages in a medical negligence lawsuit against Cary Medical Center, according to an official at the Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou.
A clerk at the court on Thursday confirmed that the hospital was ordered to pay the damages to Patricia Akerson, whose lawsuit claimed “extraordinary medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent impairment.”
Akerson went to the emergency room Oct. 12, 2015, after suffering a “direct blow to her right lower leg when a piece of debris struck her skin,” causing a hematoma, or broken blood vessels, according to the complaint. Glenn Raymond, a physician assistant, evaluated the injury and noted that Akerson had been taking 7 milligrams of Coumadin, a blood-thinning medication, every day.
According to the complaint, her hematoma was not measured or treated, and she was discharged after less than two hours with instructions to continue taking Coumadin, a medication that worsened her condition, according to the complaint. She also claimed that she was not provided with any instructions for monitoring the hematoma or the use of her medication.
Akerson’s hematoma ruptured just one day later.
When she returned to Cary Medical Center, a general surgeon discovered that the rupture site was actively bleeding and contained a large blood clot. A surgeon removed the clot as well as the surrounding dead skin. Akerson later required two additional surgeries including a skin graft on her right leg.
Cary did not meet its “duty of care” by failing to examine, mark or monitor her hematoma when she initially arrived at the ER; not advising her to discontinue her medication; discharging her with an expanding hematoma; and failing to provide adequate instructions following her Oct. 12 discharge, according to the suit.
A spokesman for the hospital did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.