Nos. 330, 372 and 395 Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, Allegheny County, at No. GD 77-18569.
John W. Jordan, IV, Pittsburgh, for Kyne, appellant at No. 330 and for appellee at Nos. 373 & 395.
John A. Tumolo, Pittsburgh, for Bell, appellees.
George M. Weis, Pittsburgh, for The Western, appellant at No. 372 and for appellee at Nos. 330 & 395.
James A. Wood, Pittsburgh, for Kyllonen, etc., appellants at No. 395 and for appellees at Nos. 330 & 372.
Hester, Brosky and Van der Voort, JJ.
[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 39]
Presently before the court are appellants' consolidated appeals from that part of the court's order dated April 1, 1980, wherein the Court en banc granted appellee Bell's motion for new trial.
The relevant facts may be summarized as follows. On November 30, 1975, appellee Raymond R. Bell fractured the distal third of the femoral shaft of his left leg in a motorcycle accident; he received emergency treatment at a different hospital, following which he was admitted to The Western Pennsylvania Hospital (approximately 15 hours after the accident) and placed under the care of appellant Kyne. The next day, Dr. Kyne performed surgery to repair the fracture (he performed an open reduction) and following surgery, issued post-operative orders which included hourly neurovascular monitoring of the left leg extremity. After observing circulatory problems, Dr. Kyne brought in Dr. Kyllonen,*fn1 a cardiovascular surgeon for a consultation. Later that evening at approximately 8:00 p. m., Dr. Kyne performed vascular exploration surgery. During this procedure, a clot was found in the left femoral artery (at the fracture site).
Circulation was restored to Bell's leg, but the following day (December 2, 1975), the leg became very swollen. To reduce the swelling and facilitate draining, an incision (fasciotomy) was made. Within two days, infection developed in the incision area and the exposed muscle tissue became necrotic. To counteract the infection, cultures were taken to isolate the infection and antibiotics were administered. For the next week, appellee's condition appeared to stabilize. However, on December 9, bacterial cultures identified the organism; it was therefore thought that same might respond to hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments.
[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 40]
Although not noted in the hospital records, Dr. Kyne testified that he clinically diagnosed gas gangrene on December 4, 1975 and confirmed the ...