Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Missed diagnosis alleged

Flesh-eating infection
of hand brings lawsuit

By David Baker
Posted July 21, 2014
343 words

A man who claims his left hand is unusable after doctors failed to promptly diagnose a flesh-eating infection has filed a lawsuit against them and Albany Memorial Hospital.

According to legal papers, Carl Hodge of Albany County went to the hospital’s emergency room in May 2012 complaining of severe pain following an injury to his left thumb. After an examination by defendant Alison Spear, M.D. he was referred to defendant Virgilio Victoriano M.D. After an examination, the thumb was immobilized with a cast and he was sent home.

Three days later Hodge went back to the Albany Memorial emergency room where he was seen by physician’s assistant Karyn Schwarzenegger and physicians Tammy Adamason and  David Golub, all of whom are named as defendants.  The cast was removed and Hodge was sent home but, according to the suit, Victoriano was not notified that Hodge had returned to the hospital.

Four days later Hodge went back to Victoriano, who sent him that same day to Albany Memorial for surgery for what was diagnosed as necrotizing fasciitis – a so-called flesh-eating infection.

“Over the next several weeks, plaintiff remained hospitalized for severe necrotizing infection and underwent multiple surgical procedures on the left hand including excision of skin blebs, incision and drainage of subcutaneous hematoma and pus, multiple radical debridements of infected tissue, muscle and fascia, resulting in complicated open wound left hand that ultimately required split thickness skin graft,” a document filed in the case says.

After discharge from the hospital Hodge received extensive physical therapy but was left with a hand that is all but unusable, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit was filed by John B. Casey, an attorney with the Albany law firm Dreyer Boyajian. The hospital is represented by MaGuire, Cardona of Menands. Representing Victoriano is Eugene Napierski of  Napierski, Vandenburgh, Napierski & O’Connor. The other defendants and a limited partnership by which they were employed are represented by Phelan, Phelan & Danek of Albany.

As with every other case reported by this web page since 2008, there is no indication that details have been published in the area’s media.