KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CN) – A 76-year-old man says he passed out while trying to insert a catheter in his penis, as instructed by an indifferent nurse, and woke up to find that he had broken his neck, paralyzing him from the chest down.
John-Paul Lamar Newport, M.D., performed surgery on Charles E. Shreve on July 8, 2011, to address his urinary-retention problems, according to the complaint. Shreve says the medical staff catheterized him “for continuous bladder irrigation” after surgery and told him to come back the next day.
But when Shreve reported to Newport’s office, Tennessee Urology Associates dba Urology Consultants of Knoxville, he learned that the doctor had taken paternity leave, according to the complaint.
Shreve says that he did not get to see a different doctor, and that a nurse identified only as Cate in the lawsuit examined him.
After Cate removed the catheter from Shreve’s penis and found that the patient still had trouble urinating, she allegedly told him he would have to do self-catheterization at home.
“Mr. Shreve had no experience with self-catheterization, had never self-catheterized himself before and was not informed by Dr. Newport or any other person attending him from TUA, or otherwise, that he would be required to do self-catheterization before being instructed to do so by Cate,” the complaint states. “Cate did not consult with any other medical provider while attending to Mr. Shreve and apparently her medical decision-making was without consultation with Dr. Newport or any other TUA physician. Mr. Shreve was handed a catheter and while standing at the end of the examination table, was instructed to insert the catheter into his urethra through his penis. While Mr. Shreve was attempting to perform this self-catheterization, Cate did not assist, instruct or in any way supervise Mr. Shreve’s efforts at self-catheterization. After inserting the catheter approximately three (3) inches into his penis, Mr. Shreve was unable to continue the insertion and experienced intense pain. At that time, he noted that black-looking blood discharged from his penis. Before he could alert Cate regarding his intense pain, Mr. Shreve passed out striking his mouth as he fell, knocking out three (3) of his teeth and breaking his neck. Cate had her back to Mr. Shreve and made no effort to watch Mr. Shreve and was not in a position to prevent or guard against his fall.”
Shreve said he was paralyzed when he regained consciousness.
He and his wife, Sherry, seek $10 million in damages from Newport and Urology Consultants for medical malpractice. They are represented by Thomas Scott with Ball & Schott.