A patient who was admitted to Tulane University Hospital for treatment of respiratory distress claims the hospital breached standards of medical care over an ulcer he developed while intubated and sedated.

Jeffrey Rusk filed suit against University Healthcare System, doing business as Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, on May 12 in Orleans Parish District Court.

Rusk claims he went to the hospital's emergency room for shortness of breath and respiratory distress on Aug. 21, 2007. He claims after admission there was no available bed in the ICU and he remained in the ER, intubated and sedated for two days. He claims that for 57 hours he was not turned on the gurney nor was he able to turn himself due to the intubation and sedation.

According to his complaint, when he was admitted to ICU, he claims he faced a similar problem and also was not properly treated for the developing pressure ulcer relative to his prolonged immobility. The ulcer became so extensive and severe Rusk was forced to undergo surgery and wound care and treatments, he claims.

Rusk claims his case has been presented to a medical review board which found the hospital allegedly breached applicable standard of care.

In his suit, he is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses, disability, lost earnings, permanent impairment, extreme nervousness, depression, anxiety, interest and court costs.

Rusk also claims the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act is unconstitutional and is in violation of his right to due process and equal protection, and deprives him of an adequate remedy.

New Orleans attorney Irving J. Warshauer of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer is representing Rusk.

Judge Sidney H. Cates is assigned to the case.

Case No. 10-4853

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