My most challenging and Memorable CLNC Case is that of a woman who was blinded during a blepharoplasty. The plaintiff attorney handed me four photographs and seven pieces of paper with doctor scratching.
I didn’t even know what a blepharoplasty was. I started by trying to decipher the physician’s hand written notes. Then I contacted my attorney-client and requested an electronic medical record (EMR). Within a week I received the medical records. My initial review of the records prompted requests for more records.
The medical records revealed that the surgeon did not use the laser safely and also did not provide proper follow-up care. He left the patient in a hospital room for four hours with an ice pack and then he drove her home. She stayed home alone with an ice pack and eye patch overnight. The physician made home visits to check on her for three days. On the third day her daughter took her to the emergency department. She was diagnosed with an orbital hemorrhage and rushed to surgery, but the damage was irreversible.
Her initial injury should have been handled as a medical emergency and treated with orbital decompression. I located MD experts who testified that this surgeon failed to adhere to the recognized standards of care. He was a dermatologist who was providing laser plastic surgery in a strip mall. He was not certified to use the laser and had a 10 year history of relocating his “plastic surgery” practice. The MD experts I provided were pivotal in winning this case.
The plaintiff won compensation for being blinded by a laser blepharoplasty. She retired from school teaching as a result of her injury.
I received the personal satisfaction of knowing that as Vickie Milazzo teaches “I am a nurse and I can do anything!” I use Vickie’s thought daily for CLNC business and my personal life.
My attorney-client commented that I had performed the impossible and he was amazed at the MD experts I provided. He has continued to send legal nurse consultant jobs to me, as well as referrals to other attorneys. I have a steady flow of legal nurse consulting work from his firm.
Although I was not familiar with plastic surgery cases, I was willing to research and reach out to other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants through the NACLNC® Association for assistance. I learned so much from this one CLNC case – the standards of care for laser blepharoplasty, how to successfully network with other CLNC consultants and how to refine my research skills.
As a CLNC consultant I dove in and figured out this challenging case. Looking back I wouldn’t have done anything different. It was an incredible learning experience with a great outcome.
Guest Blogger Profile
Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC owner of Chaparral Associates is an independent Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and Certified Life Care Planner who specializes in life care planning. She consults on medical malpractice cases, catastrophic injury review and expert witness location.
P.S. Comment here to congratulate Kaylin Chase, RN, BSN, CNLCP, CLNC and to share your most memorable CLNC case.