Finger nearly severed during IV dressing removal


Intravenous news: Arkansas News report “A $210,000 jury award to the parents of an infant whose finger was nearly severed by a nurses mistake was not excessive, the Arkansas Court of Appeals said in an opinion today. The appeals court upheld a Garland County juryâs judgment in favor of John and Melissa Edwards, who son Caleb was six months old when he was severely injured at St. Josephs Mercy Health Center in Hot Springs on Feb. 21, 2002.

According to the opinion by a three-judge panel of the court, Caleb was being discharged from the hospital when nurse Sandy Reed began removing tape that secured his intravenous tubing and accidentally cut his left index finger so severely that it was left hanging by the skin on the underside of his finger. Calebs finger was reattached at Arkansas Childrens Hospital in Little Rock. The parents later sued St. Josephs, and at trial the hospital admitted liability.

After a jury decided on a $210,000 award for the family, the hospital appealed, arguing that the amount was grossly excessive and that the trial judge had erred by admitting speculative testimony.

In its opinion today, the appeals court said that according to testimony, Caleb screamed in pain when his finger was cut, subsequently underwent surgery, was hospitalized for two days after the surgery, had to receive shots in his legs which made him cry twice a day for two weeks after he was discharged, had to wear a cast for two weeks after he was discharged, and could not use his finger for a year after the accident. Also, medical evidence showed that Calebs left index finger was scarred, continued to have loss of sensation and would always be shorter than his right index finger.

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