ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CN) - Kaiser's failure to diagnose and treat a woman's oozing bone infection resulted in part of her shoulder being eaten away, she claims in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
Billie Jo and Ron Bonolis have sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group for malpractice and loss of consortium.
For months after Mrs. Bonolis had had shoulder surgery, her surgeon thought she had an infection of the shoulder tissue, when it actually was osteomyelitis, a bone infection, her complaint says.
Within a month of the surgery, an MRI report suggested that the problem might be osteomyelitis, but no further testing was done, according to the complaint.
Three months after the surgery, and after several courses of antibiotics and attempts to clean out the surgical area, an infection consultant reported that a piece of bone used as an "anchor" during the surgery, was positive for MRSA, a "superbug" resistant to antibiotics, according to the complaint.
After removal of part of her clavicle, the infection persisted.
Five months after the initial surgery, Mrs. Bonolis saw a doctor from Union Memorial Hospital who told her "the infection had become so severe and extensive that the humoral head had been eaten away," according to the complaint. The humoral head is the ball in the socket of the joint.
The doctor also informed her that "the condition of the humorus was now so critical that he was unable to tell her how many additional surgeries it would take to resolve the painful infection," according to the complaint.
Once more of the humorus had been removed to get rid of the infection, and Mrs. Bonolis was able to have her shoulder replaced, she went through months of painful recovery, and still has pain and disfigurement, the complaint says. She has a limited range of motion in her dominant arm "due to the massive damage done to her right shoulder and the nature of the required shoulder replacement," according to the complaint.
She is no longer able to write normally, crochet, swim or take care of her grandchildren, among other things. Also, she needs help with personal hygiene, such as washing and combing her hair, according to the complaint.
The new doctor told her it is unlikely that she will ever have full use of the right shoulder, the complaint says.
Roy L. Mason represents the plaintiffs, who are seeking $75,000.