This case involves an incarcerated individual who sustained a broken arm and shoulder during an altercation with another inmate. Although the plaintiff underwent successful surgery, it was alleged that the prison physician did not provide the plaintiff with the appropriate post-operative care. According to the surgeon, the plaintiff required a sling for additional shoulder support. However, the patient was only given a soft cast. Within a week after the operation, the patient became injured again and sustained more serious complications which took him months to recover from. It was alleged that the correctional medical director did not sufficiently review the plaintiff’s records and failed to provide the plaintiff with the appropriate treatment. An expert in correctional medicine was sought to review the plaintiff’s post-operative treatment plan and opine on liability and causation.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience in correctional medicine.
- 2. Can you speak to the proper communication procedures that must occur between the correctional medical staff and the treating orthopedic staff as it relates to post-surgical care?
Expert Witness Response E-007216
I have experience working as the medical director of a correctional facility and treating patients with this type of injury. It is imperative to communicate the proper procedures between medical staff and the treating orthopedic staff. It is understood that this is a vulnerable patient population. Compliance with post-operative orders may prove difficult either because of facility limitations or perhaps patient mood disorders or even guard interference. It is extremely important that the correctional physician focus on the standard of care and use the post-operative orders as their guide.