Friday, April 23, 2010

NC Medical Board protects "bad" Duke orthopedic surgeon

I am going to make this as simple as possible. I do not have a medical degree but I am competent.

Mark Easley, MD (Duke orthopedic surgeon) treated my dad for a left side fallen arch by performing surgery on 02-14-2008.

Dr. Mark Easley knew or should have known that my dad was an in-patient at Duke University Hospital (Durham) in August 2008 with a chemotherapy related skin infection, including an infection on the left foot's pressure sore.

Despite the fact that Dr. Easley performs surgeries at Duke University Hospital, at no time during dad's November 2008 hospitalization did Easley check on the condition of my dad or his foot.

Throughout the summer of 2008 and after the August 2008 hospitalization, I continuously told Dr. Easley that dad's left foot "pressure sore" was not healing. Dr. Easley continuously referred dad to a prosthetics office to have a more comfortable brace made.

When Dr. Easley finally examined dad in November 2008, it was too late. Dr. Easley told me (to my face) that the Duke hospitalist Dr. Ramiah Veshana did not properly care for dad's foot wound during the August 2008 hospitalization.

Easley expressed concern that the infection was very serious and dad might lose his foot. Dr. Easley and I discussed the fact that I explained the previous foot surgery to Dr. Veshana Ramiah and asked Dr. Ramiah to advise Dr. Easley of dad's condition. Dr. Veshana refused to speak with dad's other treating Duke clinic doctors because that additional information would "muddy the waters."

At no time did Dr. Easley report Dr. Ramiah Veshana's error. Rather, since the NC Medical Board investigated the August 2008 hospitalization and presumably spoke with Dr. Easley since he articulated that the care was sub par, we can logically conclude that Dr. Easley lied to the NC Medical Board.

After the November 2008 hospitalization and five reconstructive surgeries of dad's left foot, Dr. Easley failed in all respects to ensure that the infection in dad's foot was properly treated and resolved.

As late as December 2009, Dr. Easley seemed perplexed as to why the bones in dad's left foot was not healing. Dr. Easley knew that my dad was in horrific pain and encouraged him to engage in weight bearing exercises as tolerated.

Dr. Easley did not provide dad with sufficient pain relief. Moreover, at no time after November 2008 did Dr. Easley perform diagnostic tests and/or blood work to ascertain whether the infection was ever resolved.

I contacted Dr. Easley's office several times during the last two weeks of dad's life because dad was in such horrific pain. I received no return phone call or electronic mail.

The partial autopsy reports reveals that dad did have a bone infection. That bone infection was remarkable and a cause of dad's death.

Up until my 67 year old father's last breath, he was in horrific pain. In fact the day of my dad's death death, he asked me "why can't Dr. Easley fix my foot"?

If Dr. Easley had properly checked the status of the infection after the November 2008 hospitalization then the infection could have been treated.

Dr. Easley knew that my dad suffered. It turns out that dad's suffering and painful death was directly related to the failure of Dr. Mark Easley (Duke Orthopedics) to follow-up on the November 2008 infection.

The NC Medical Board believes that Dr. Easley's treatment of my dad was fine. What are the readers thoughts about that?

I never wanted to sue Duke or any individual physician or surgeon. But if the NC Medical Board permits this type of treatment of elderly patients then I may rethink my initial thought to not sue.

Shame on the NC Medical Board and Dr. Mark Easley.

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