October 3, 2012
Donald Brown successfully defended an otolaryngologist in Pulaski Circuit Court in a three-day trial. Plaintiff alleged that the physician failed to remove all of the surgical packing that had been placed in her nostrils following a transsphenoidal adenomectomy. The physician had been asked to assist in the surgical procedure by creating access through the nostril to the pituitary gland so that the tumor could be removed by the neurosurgeon. The physician’s part of the procedure was without complication. However, significant bleeding was encountered during the neurosurgeon’s portion of the procedure, and the surgery was aborted. Substantial material was placed in plaintiff’s nasal cavity by the neurosurgeon to stop the bleeding, including cotton pledgets and absorbable gelatin compressed sponges. The physician completed the procedure by placing nasal packing into each of plaintiff’s nostrils, which he personally removed two days later. Several weeks after the surgery, plaintiff went to her treating otolaryngologist with complaints of pain and difficulty breathing in her left nostril. At this time, her treating physician removed an object from her nostril which he believed to have been placed at the time of the surgery. Brown and Caldwell defended the physician by submitting medical proof that he acted appropriately in his care and treatment of plaintiff. Moreover, there was no evidence that the object which had been removed from Plaintiff’s nostril had been placed by the physician. The jury agreed, and quickly returned a verdict in favor of the physician.