A jury found defendant doctor, Mohammed Budeir, and Crozer-Chester Medical Center negligent in treating plaintiff Bonnie Semple. Semple is now required to have a permanent tracheostomy tube. The jury awarded Semple $2.78 million.
Semple was admitted to Crozer-Chester Medical Center after a car accident, in which she was knocked unconscious and suffered abdominal bleeding, as well as blunt force trauma to her head. Semple was endotracheally intubated, and Budeir then performed a repair of liver lacerations. She remained intubated for several days, and an ear, nose and throat doctor found swelling in her airways. The doctor recommended she receive steroids for the next few days. Semple’s swelling continued despite the small doses of steroids Budeir gave her.
Semple was discharged in mid-April, but was readmitted to the hospital in May to treat a bacterial skin infection involving her chest wall and neck. Doctors found tissue swelling, multilevel airway collapse and obstruction, due to a misplaced tracheostomy. Semple underwent numerous additional surgeries in 2009 and 2011, including a reconstruction procedure that involved removing portions of Semple’s rib bones and cartilage to correct the error.
Semple argued the treatment caused her to need a permanent tracheostomy, a special valve to speak, limited activity, and the need to take extra precautions around water. She also noted her tracheostomy tube must be replaced every three months, and she must take medications to control her stomach acidity.