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Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filed After Missed Epidural Leaves Patient with Neurological Deficits

— December 7, 2021

Henry So and his wife secure Bell Law Firm following catastrophic botched procedure.

 ATLANTA – December 7, 2021 – Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm today confirms the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of Henry L. and Rath So, in Fulton County, Georgia against Ortho Sport and Spine Physicians, LLC (“Ortho”) and others, following negligence leading to permanent spinal cord damage and neurological deficits in Henry So.

In April of 2019, Henry So was involved in a car crash. He underwent some chiropractic care but continued to have pain in his neck. An MRI showed foraminal stenosis, or narrowing of the openings in the vertebrae, where nerve roots exit the spinal column with impingement of the C7 nerve roots on both the left and right sides.

Mr. So sought out the care of Ortho Sport and Spine in October of 2019. On October 15, Dr. Mark Flood noted Mr. So’s pain at 6 on a scale of 10 and recommended a cervical epidural steroid injection (“CESI”), a shot of steroids straight into the epidural area of the spine.

Mr. So appeared at Ortho for the CESI on October 21. Dr. Ryan Rosen saw Mr. So for the first time and performed the CESI.

One week later, on October 28, Mr. So returned to Ortho for a follow-up visit and was seen by Dr. Jeffrey Lee, the third Ortho doctor to treat Mr. So in as many visits. Mr. So reported reduced neck pain at a level of 3 out of 10, along with frequent headaches. Dr. Lee did not record the intensity but recommended another CESI and a greater occipital nerve block.

On Friday, November 22, Mr. So appeared at Ortho for the scheduled second CESI, this time seen by Dr. Hany M. Helmi. Images retained from the surgery indicate that the tip of the needle was not in the epidural space. Instead, the needle had crossed the midline of the spine and was in the center of the spinal canal, not posterior to the canal. These same images indicate that Dr. Helmi injected a full volume of contrast into the dural space — not the epidural space — instead of a test dose of contrast to ensure proper placement of the needle.

After the operation, Mr. So awoke with severe pain in his abdomen and legs, a loss of normal sensation in his legs, and difficulty breathing. An ambulance was called, and Mr. So was taken directly from Ortho to the emergency room. However, on the post-procedure sheet, the Ortho Sport and Spine nurse recorded Mr. So’s post-op admission pain rating as 0 out of 10 and recorded that Mr. So was discharged home.

At the hospital, MRI images were taken of his spine. Those images show that Dr. Helmi had injected the steroid medication directly into Mr. So’s spinal cord. The spinal cord injection damaged Mr. So’s spinal cord and caused Mr. So severe, permanent neurological deficits.

“The truth of Henry So’s case is clear,” says Lloyd Bell, founder of Bell Law Firm. “At every turn, the Ortho Sport and Spine staff acted in bad faith; by prescribing a CESI that was not indicated, by never once telling Mr. So about the grave risks of the procedure, by ignoring Mr. So’s hypertensive crisis, by administering general anesthesia that was unnecessary and dangerous, by discarding fluoroscopy images, by misinforming ER physicians about what happened and by falsifying discharge paperwork. Their negligence was influenced by monetary motives because the CESI and its anesthesia are known to be fast, high-profit procedures. As a result of their greed, Mr. So is left with a permanent neurological deficit.”

About Bell Law Firm

Face the Jury with Lloyd Bell. Courtesy Bell Law Firm.
Face the Jury with Lloyd Bell. Courtesy Bell Law Firm.

Bell Law Firm is one of Georgia’s leading law firms for victims of medical malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the firm has recovered more than $100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state courts, and he has represented clients in more than 100 jury trials in addition to many more successful settlements. Specializing in litigating misdiagnoses, surgical errors, pharmacy medication mistakes, and other types of malpractice, Bell Law firm stands apart with a deep legal experience, a mastery of technology in the courtroom, and a compelling manner of storytelling. In 2018, Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta, named Bell Law Firm as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year. Firm founder, Lloyd Bell is one of only two Georgia members of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only organization of the 100 top trial lawyers in the country.

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