A jury awards a woman $6.5 million in a civil suit against Georgia Bone and Joint Surgeons. The jury ruled in favor of Margaret Britt Keel; Jay Sadd and Scott Slappy represented her in the week-long civil suit. The case was heard in Judge Scott Smith’s courtroom. The suit against Georgia Bone and Joint, 15 Medical Drive Cartersville, Dr. Bradford Wall, and the attending nurse alleged negligence. Dr. Wall performed a total knee replacement on Keel on January 30, 2018. Her medical history indicated sleep apnea, for which she used a CPAP machine. Following surgery, Keel was moved to the post-anesthesia care unit. Dr. Wall ordered specific levels of Dilaudid, Percocet, and Narco. The drugs were to be administered at particular times and specific doses for pain.  A nurse named in the suit cared for Keel; however, according to court documents, the doses of medicine and times administered were inconsistent with the doctor’s orders. According to the complaint, she was asleep at 7:30 p.m. with the CPAP machine in place.
A nurse aroused her at 9:45 p.m. and allowed her to go back to sleep.  She was found unresponsive at 11 p.m.  Her breathing was labored, the CPAP machine was out of place, and her oxygen levels were low. At one-point the nurse was unable to find a pulse. Chest compressions were started and 911 was called; a defibrillator was used en route to the hospital. She was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. She remained at the hospital for 15 days and was then transported to Redmond Hospital’s Acute Rehabilitation Center. According to court documents, Keel suffered an anoxic brain injury and other injuries as a result of a cardiopulmonary arrest. She continues to suffer from injuries and defects from the incident. The suit alleged the nurse at the center of orthopedic surgery responsible for her care was negligent. They were accused of deviating from the standard of care. The nurse “failed to continuously monitor her vital signs so they would be in a position to respond in a timely manner to complications as necessary. They administered more narcotic than necessary for her pain. They failed to respond and act in a timely and appropriate manner once they happened to find Keel pulseless and unresponsive, including in particular by failing to call 911 to have EMS dispatched for approximately 18 minutes when finding her unresponsive. The jury awarded Keel $6.5 million dollars to be paid 100% by Georgia Bone and Joint. The nurse involved was not ordered to pay any damages.