Lawyer: Green clothing dye mistaken for medical dye a ‘fiasco’
BY HUNTER CLAUSS AND JAMES SCALZITTI Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 6, 2012 9:30PM
Updated: April 7, 2012 2:30PM
The attorney for the man who claims he was mistakenly injected with a green dye normally used for clothing during a procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital called the event “a fiasco” and said he could not understand how no one in the operating room at the time thought to question what Elijah Goodwin was being given.
Since Goodwin was injected with the dye in 2010 he has suffered permanent lung damage and has developed a seizure disorder, the lawsuit claims. His attorney says the 34-year-old Goodwin will be on drugs to counter these effects of the dye for the rest of his life.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court, Goodwin states he checked into the hospital’s emergency room on April 10, 2010 when he developed a headache and “radiating neck pain.”
Doctors determined Goodwin had an intracranial aneurysm and performed surgery on him the following day, according to the lawsuit.
When doctors followed up with a post-operative angiogram, they accidentally used “Brilliant Green dye,” which is sometimes used to color silk, wool and other fabrics, the lawsuit claims, adding that the dye is “extremely poisonous.”
The hospital’s pharmacy would have had the dye on hand because, according to the suit, it is “on occasion used in medicine as a topical anesthesia.”
Goodwin’s attorney, Ardwin E. Boyer, said Saturday that the procedure “was just a fiasco.”
Boyer says the consequences of the dye being injected into Goodwin were “really bad.”
“There’s a whole list of problems and complications” that he has suffered because of it, including “permanent damage to his lungs. He has a reduced lung capacity and permanent scarring of his lungs.
“He’s got a seizure disorder (and) it actually shut down his kidneys for a time,” the lawyers said.
Goodwin has to take anti-seizure medications “probably for life,” Boyer said. “He’s got an inhaler he uses permanently,” because of the lung damage. “He gets coughing spells in the middle of the night.”
Explaining that because of the lung damage Goodwin gets out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs, the lawyer added, “it’ll never get better.
“It was a really, really horrible mistake.”
Boyer says, “the drug they administered didn’t have any FDA packaging” or other labeling to indicate what it was. The doctors performing the angiogram wanted “IC Green,” which is a fluorescent dye that is used in angiograms. “Whoever was in the pharmacy just pulled it,” Boyer said. Additionally, he noted, IC Green comes in a powder form, while the dye that Goodwin was injected with came in a vial, in liquid form.
“There were so many, many mishaps here,” Boyer said. “It’s really sad. They brought this vial down to the operating room and nobody in there knew what it was. I can’t for the life of me understand why (this dye would be used on the patient). This was just inexcusable.”
Those who were in the operating room when the dye was administered, “were all just shooting from the hip,” Boyer said. “Nobody knew what it was. Nobody knew how much to give. Why would you just inject something because it says ‘green’?”
The nine-count lawsuit seeks at least $450,000 plus attorney’s fees.
A representative for Northwestern Memorial Hospital has not returned a call for comment.