NEW ORLEANS –  A local woman who claims she had to visit the emergency room twice due to complications from a routine blood draw is suing her health care provider.

Ashley Huff filed suit against Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans and Krystal Howard APRN-FNP in the Orleans Civil District Court on March 3.

According to the suit, on March 5, 2013 Huff was treated at Metairie clinic by Howard for uterine bleeding.

The suit claims that Howard ordered labs including CBC, metabolic panel, and hormone evaluation by blood drawn by venipuncture of the left inside of the left elbow. Huff alleges she was reevaluated by Howard and underwent an endometrial biopsy. When she complained of pain and warmth in her left elbow, Howard ordered antibiotics Bactrim and Bactroban to treat infection. One week later, Huff claims she went to the emergency room at Oschner Kenner where she was diagnosed with abscess of elbow, cellulitis of left upper arm and forearm. She underwent debridement and began aggressive antibiotic treatment, including with Clindamycin, the suit claims.

It also claims that at an April 2 follow up with Howard the infection had progressed. Huff returned to ER and was placed on IV Vancomycin and Clindamycin. Huff claims to have scarring and discomfort and other side effects.

The defendant is accused of negligence and breach of standard of care in failing to properly evaluate and treat her post-venipuncture infection and failing to refer out to appropriate specialists including infectious disease and surgery. The suit argues Daughters of Charity is liable under the doctrine of tespondeat superior for negligent acts of employees including the unknown phlebotomist. They are accused of failing to train, educate, supervise, monitor, credential and evaluate their staff.

Huff is suing for damages including physical and mental pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, disability, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Christopher H. Sherwood of New Orleans.

Daughters of Charity answered the suit on April 25 denying all wrongdoing. It claims that any injury is the result of natural causes, unavoidable or unforseeable events, or acts of God, unrelated to the care of the patient.

Daughters of Charity is represented by Guy C. Curry, Susan E. Henning, Meredith M. Miceli and Kathy A. Rito of Curry & Friend APLC of New Orleans.

As of May 1, court records show that Howard had not been located.

Case is assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case no. 2014-02212.

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