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Laceration of artery during surgery led to amputation – $1,500,000 Settlement

This case involved the inadvertent laceration of the popliteal artery during knee surgery that eventually required amputation of the patient’s leg. The plaintiff was a 52-year-old woman who underwent revision of a right total knee replacement on Sept. 13, 2010. The hardware had been placed approximately one year prior. During the surgery, the patient lost 1,125 cc of blood. Her hemoglobin precipitously dropped from 10.3 to less than 5 before the end of the case. The surgeon did not describe excessive bleeding or the management of vascular accident in the operative report.

Following the surgery, in the post anesthesia care unit, the pulses in the leg were weak but present. Later, the patient was moved to the STICU, where her leg was cool, mottled and pulseless. Angiography revealed an injury to the right popliteal artery. Subsequent exploration demonstrated a greater than 50 percent laceration of the vessel. Attempts to revascularize the leg were unsuccessful. The patient underwent above-the-knee amputation of the leg two days after the original procedure.

The matter was resolved by confidential settlement prior to the filing of a lawsuit.


Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Above-knee amputation
Date resolved: May 2, 2012
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $1,500,000
Attorney for plaintiff: Jonathan M. Petty, Richmond

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