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October 3rd, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Veteran files suit over frostbitten penis

A 61-year-old Army veteran is suing the U.S. government for $10 million, claiming negligent care resulted in severe frostbite on his penis, leading to its partial amputation.

Michael D. Nash of Louisville, Kentucky, filed suit in federal court Monday.  He is asking for damages for what his lawyer calls "significant mental and emotional distress and trauma as a result of his injuries."

In October 2010, Nash underwent surgery at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.  Doctors were removing and replacing a malfunctioning penile implant.  After the surgery, according to court documents, a nurse applied ice packs to Nash's penis to reduce pain and swelling.

The ice packs remained on Nash's penis for 19 straight hours, "in violation of the standard of care," according to the lawsuit.  As a result, Nash's penis was severely frostbitten, which led to gangrene.

According to Nash's attorney, Larry Jones, his client was on heavy pain medicine at the time and unable to question the nurse.  Nash was discharged from the hospital even though he complained of severe pain, Jones said.

Two weeks later, surgeons performed a partial penectomy, removing a significant part of Nash's penis.

"When you take away a man's manhood, it affects him in ways you can't imagine," Jones said.  Nash, who served in the Army in the 1960s,  now needs a catheter and has no sexual function, he said.  Eventually, he will need reconstructive surgery.

Typically, after penile implant surgery, ice would be applied to the groin area only with many layers of gauze in between, said Dr. Bruce Kava, associate professor of clinical urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "This is unusual," he said.

He said it would also be unusual that a patient would be unable to feel the ice's effects.

The Department of Veterans Affairs declined comment, referring questions to the U.S. Attorney's office. The office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN.

To read Nash's lawsuit, click here.


soundoff (337 Responses)
  1. NC

    Did he get blue balls as well?

    October 4, 2012 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Raven Days

    The VA is not the angel of mercy most of you are touting it is. They handed my husband a month's worth of Methadone and he died of an over dose the next day. He had a history of over medicating on prescription medication, yet they give him Methadone! Not just a little bit, mind you, but a whole freaking months worth. Yes, it was my husband decision to take more then the recommended amount, however, why would the VA give a known abuser a stronger drug? Thats like giving a drunk a bottle of booze and car keys after his 3rd DUI and hoping for the best! My husband served 16 years in the Army and was medically discharged less then a month before he died.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • af vet

      Im sorry for your loss. Truly. Something needs to be done about how horrible Military and VA health care is.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
  3. ig nor anus

    You can't make this stuff up. That's cold

    October 4, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dave

    What he had wasn't working anyway. Maybe he'll get a better one with reconstructive surgery.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tom

    What male would not want a functioning penis whether it has to be assisted with a pump or not. Catheters suck! Ever had a UTI? I plan to still be fully functioning when I die an old man. 61 is not old!!! Any veteran deserves all help available to them, I for one am grateful for their service. We live in the best country in the world (though it is far from perfect) ask any immigrant. we don't have all the facts to pass judgement on anybody. As a person who has had testicular surgery it is possible to be numb and sedated and not aware of the damage.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Josh

    "The office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN."

    Do they have some duty or responsibility to drop everything, whenever CNN calls?

    October 4, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Frank

    Just to be clear...it didn't work before it was partially amputated.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shelley

      it may not have worked without the aid of an implant but it wasnt disfigured, and just saying ' it didnt work before" doesnt absolve or negate what happened to him, does i?

      July 15, 2013 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
  8. Josh

    They removed "five inches" of his penis.

    So, what, he has only 7 inches left, or so he claims?

    October 4, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. BOOB

    My wife is so frigid, everytime I have sex with her I get frostbite.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Danny the Drummer

      Ba-da-boom!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
    • Svenghooli

      At least you have sex with your wife....lol

      October 4, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      He's not the only one.

      @ B00B:
      Tell your wife thank you again. And let me know if you find my watch. I forgot it last night. ;-)

      October 4, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
  10. Mary Jo

    Tim,
    Amen! Thank you for your service. May god bless our Veteran's as I believe they deserve so much more than what they get. Substandard care is a lacking term for what I have seen in some of the VA hospitals, the treatment in the bulk of these facilities is disgusting!

    October 4, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sybaris

      Yeah but the Rehuglicans would balk at the government paying top dollar for the best doctors to treat our Soldiers and Sailors.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      Sybaris....your dude is out....watch the debates!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • frank

      @sybaris it was Bush's fult right? How dumb can you be

      October 4, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Crazy

      Maybe he should have taken a little responsiblity for his own penis region. He had obviously had his procedure before and knew that was wrong. That is what is wrong with today's world, everyone is sue happy.

      October 4, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  11. Leonard Simek

    The VA hospitals and clinics were established to provide adequate health care. You can argue all you want about who deserves treatment however inadequate care is not excusable. Standard of medical care must be adhered to or whats the point of any health care. Any surgery is risky. The main question is: could the complications have been avoided if he was taken care of properly.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Azhane69

      Mr. Simek,

      I toally agree. After all, our veterans needs to at least be treated with respect, understanding and compassion especially when it pertains to their medical needs.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
  12. ROCKWOOD

    I googled images and I wish I hadn't. I'd have to question why the man needed the surgery at 61......but.......it was within his right. Am not quite understanding why a nurse would leave ice on this long, and why, unless he was unconscious from sedation would he not take it off? It would eventually start burning I'd think.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cathy

      You must be very young to think a man in his 60s isn't sexually active! Hopefully you will live long enough to laugh at that yourself, later:)

      October 4, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
  13. ROMNEY2012

    Welcome to Obamacare!

    October 4, 2012 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Todd in DC

      Grow up. That isn't even Obamacare. That's healtcare for Veterans. And it's not even that. That's just negligence, which happens.

      If you want to try to talk about repealing Obamacare, then ask yourself if the Romney voucher you will otherwise get will ever cover open heart surgery.

      Or don't. Facts aren't your forte'

      October 4, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
    • Sybaris

      "Welcom to Obamacare!"

      Really? Are you THAT stupid?

      Meanwhile 90,000 die in hospitals every year from malpractice..................totally unrelated to the affordable healthcare act.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Welcome to Obamacare is absolutely right.
      This is the future of health care in America.
      The VA sucks, their health care sucks, and this is the way things are headed.
      At least O-bummo crapped out in the debate last night. America still has a chance.

      October 4, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
    • NotSoProud

      Considering your nametag, I can't say I'm surprised the body of your message is not only wrong but you seem proud of the fact that you don't know what your talking about.

      October 4, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually the VA provides fantastic healthcare, this was not always the case. I just went there yesterday and it's the best healthcare I've ever had in my adult life and my former employer used to brag quite often about the quality of it's healthcare package. It is generally agreed upon in medical circles that the VA does a great job. Now doctors and dentists IN the military.... not so hot.

      October 4, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      Todd and Sybaris are still stinging from the debate.....turns out"change" isn't enough this time is it?

      October 4, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
  14. Areacode612

    No sure how I could even put a price on mine.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Todd in DC

      I'd rather put a price on it, rather than ice on it.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
  15. rick1948

    He's 61 years old. I doubt the size of his wang is a big player in his lifestyle any more.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phallus64

      PHAK-u! i'M 64 AND I can still bang more quiff than you have hairs on your head, boy!....even tho' I have only 4 inches, some women like it that WIDE!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Les Too

      Age has absolutely NOTHING to do with sexual activity, Age also has little to do with the attraction of one person to another. A little education would do you good.

      October 4, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • M

      Les Too, hate to break it to you but age is a significant factor. To give you one example: creepy middle-aged guys tend to be attracted to younger women (while thinking that age difference is no big thing) while younger women tend to file harassment suits and court orders against them.

      October 4, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      Maybe not the size, but it sure helps to have one! Lots of people in their sixties are active sexually – with other people in their sixties, such as their spouses. I remarried three years ago at the age of 66, having been widowed 6 years earlier. You can bet I was interested in being able to enjoy sexual intimacy with my new husband. Really, when do you plan to quit having sex? Such ignorance!

      October 4, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
  16. muriel

    mistakes are made everywhere not just a the va hospitals

    October 4, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Wow

    Suing because he has no sexual function...um...isn't that why he needed a penile implant to begin with...so....this condition was already there...

    October 4, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anna

      Just another way to try to get money for nothing.

      October 4, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Rick

      Apparently you have a problem with reading comprehension. The patient "Now" has to use a catheter to drain his blader which wasn't necessary prior to the subsequent problem. Having a catheter can and will bring on a host of issues. As in constants infections, added expenses and so forth. When in a hospital setting a nurse will NOT administer anything without doctors orders that are in the patients chart. Could be the nurse forgot about the ice, or misread the orders in the chart. It's definitely negligence since all medical professions know you should never ice any tissues (on the body) for no longer than 20-30 mins. After that time has elapsed, you need to remove the ice pack for roughly 10 minutes and then repeat. Reason for this it's know that ice for long periods of time..will cause harm to cells at a molecular level and impede oxygen enriched blood flow to the body part being iced. Which over time the lack of blood flow ends up killing healthy tissue, hence leading to ganggren. Anyone who disputes what I said in the aforementioned, then I suggest you go to medical school.
      Respectfully, A Gastro-Intestinal Surgeon at Vanderbilt University Hospital.

      October 4, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  18. Like a BOSS

    Ok so it will only be $1,999,990,000,000.00 added to the defense budget after the suite.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tjp44

      it's a suit genius, a tort.....not a fancy hotel room.......wow, a future politician!

      October 4, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  19. brathead

    Something with this story does not fit. First the ice would melt long before it caused frostbite. 2nd a penile implant is considered an elective surgery and not needed for a life & death situation. Why did he decide to have an penile implant at age 61? Although I commend this gentleman for serving our country & fighting for our freedom something with this story is missing. People who decide to sue do not think about the bigger picture. In cases such as this where you are going after the government, it is us taxpayers that will end up paying his $10 million payout if for some reason he wins.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Balanced Brain

      What's missing from this story is your ability to imagine and empathize. First of all, they kept replacing the ice packs, apparently without the requisite time in between. And why would a man have an implant at age 61 – perhaps because he was using it. 61 is not old and it is way too young to give up sex if you don't have to. Could be a married guy, like my sweet sexy 68 year old husband. Even if he gets to the time when he can't use it, I'm pretty sure he won't want it cut off. The hospital was negligent and they owe him a fix! Really doesn't matter if he is a veteran or just a human being.

      October 4, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • longtooth

      Believe it or not, lust doesn't die after your thirties. Neither does your zest for living.

      October 4, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • todd260566

      you would be surprised at what tax payer's money is being wasted on in VAs......

      trannies (male/female) getting GYN appointments? how is wanting to be a girl all your life (so you say.....) have anything to do with service to your country and a service connection disability?

      October 4, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  20. BEENTHERE

    Same type of thing happened to my dad....VA amputated his manhood instead of a simple procedure. He sued and won....they're not very effective MD's at the VA. I'm a 10+ year Army vet and WILL NOT there unless I wanna lose something I didn't bargain for.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • roxanne

      how much did your dad get.

      October 4, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  21. angryersmell

    $100,000,000.00 sounds more reasonable.

    October 4, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. badda bing

    DEAL WITH IT. There are people with far worse issues than you. Having sex in your 60's should be illegal anyway. You are an OLD MAN so start acting like one. A Peter DOES NOT= your manhood. Go lift some heavy furniture then maybe you can feel like a man again.

    October 4, 2012 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry

      Just because yours doesn't work doesn't mean that everyone is in your situation. You also sound like a Republican...mean and cold.

      October 4, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • Owl96

      You want a 60 year old to start acting like an old man? The day you turn 60, go retire and sit on the court house steps every day taking about the home run you hit in Little League. Or keep working, play some pickup basketball and live like you are young...because you will still be young. I am in my early 60's and can still do most of what I did when 40. I can't retire because I never hit a home run in Little League.

      October 5, 2012 at 09:03 | Report abuse |
    • Michael5555

      "You want a 60 year old to start acting like an old man? The day you turn 60, go retire and sit on the court house steps every day taking about the home run you hit in Little League. Or keep working, play some pickup basketball and live like you are young...because you will still be young. I am in my early 60's and can still do most of what I did when 40. I can't retire because I never hit a home run in Little League."

      you clearly forgot to read the manual on how to properly troll this blog. Go get some TP for your mouth and make sure its nice and clean, then try again.

      "Remember when you used to watch it? How old were you? People that same age now watch it. If I was 8, I would be watching Sponge Bob Square Pants. If someone enjoys the show, let them be. Go watch your M*A*S*H DVDs (like I do) and let others be. "

      Just in case you wanted to explain us in detail what kind of an a.h. you are, let me tell you: you are very successful in doing that – so far. However, I'd bet that you have not more to say – just in different words maybe.

      You can find me here.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Michael5555?action=comments

      December 23, 2012 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
  23. badda bing

    DEAL WITH IT. There are people with far worse issues than you. Having sex in your 60's should be illegal anyway. You are an OLD MAN so start acting like one. A Peter DOES NOT= your manhood. Go lift some heavy furniture then maybe you can feel like a man again.!!

    October 4, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. TallinOK

    I guess he'll be charged with 'Assault with a Dead Weapon.'

    October 4, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Dana

    "When you take away a man's manhood, it affects him in ways you can't imagine" Go cry me a river. Men think that it's the end of the world while thousands of women undergo mastectomy, hysterectomy and what? They live with it. Anyway, a 60 year old does not use his member for much, let's face it. I'm disgusted.

    October 4, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Les Too

      61 is not an "old man". Sex does NOT end at a certain age. I would guess that you are still a pre-adult which is the ONLY age where dallying under the sheets is totally inappropriate. After age 18 adults are adults and age becomes meaningless. on every level. There is a 30 yr. difference between my sister and her husband. They are very happy and kead fukk adult lives in and iut of the bedroom. Your viewpoint is based on ignorance.

      October 4, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • Balanced Brain

      I am 69 and my husband uses his "wing-wang" or whatever you called it plenty. You obviously do not have a clue! My parents were sexually active into their 80's (ie this is NOT uncommon). Bet you wouldn't be so pleased if you went in for a mastectomy and they removed the wrong breast. Or would you "just live with it." ?

      October 4, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  26. vet

    Malpratice and sub standard care, Sounds like ROMNEY care

    October 4, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. anna

    Perhaps if he hadnt gotten a penal implant in the first place he wouldnt have had this problem!!!

    He should have been happy with what he had, LOL

    October 4, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Angela

    Mike, you are a puke. Maybe if he was on Medicaid, which I bill plenty of, but a Vet deserves all the benefits he can get! Get a life

    October 4, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. jeff

    well its not all that bad for him. If he cant dick it he can still lick it

    October 4, 2012 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dave

    Gangrene Penis. What a great band name!

    October 4, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. jeff

    Would not give ya 10 million for mine.

    October 4, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. guest

    I want to know where they got ice that didnt melt for 19 hours?

    October 4, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kim

      That was my thoughts exactly! Doesn't make any sense at all!!!

      October 22, 2012 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
    • drc239

      Read again ... article says ice packs ... as in, more than one ... that means nurse applied one ice pack and then another and then another, etc for 19 straight hours.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
  33. tjp44

    yes, Larry is a lady's first choice.......................NOT, get a manual before you comment idiot

    October 4, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mugadoon

    I'm not saying this didn't happen, but am I the only one wondering what kind of ice stays frozen for 19 hours?????

    October 6, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drc239

      Read again ... it says ice packs ... as in more than one. Nurse applied an ice pack, then another, and anothe, etc ... for 19 straight hours.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
  35. Ego Sum Lamia

    Really? I mean really? You use your VA Care for removing and replacing a malfunctioning penile implant. Tax dollars.
    Hopefully, since his penis isn't working the blood flow will go back to his brain. According to the GOP, if God wanted you to have an erection he would give you one.

    October 8, 2012 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Portland tony

    If this veteran lost use of his tool during enemy action, I'm all for the the VA replacing his implant. But where was the original surgery done and why? And if this surgery was elective for ED and at the tax payers expense, there is something wrong with the system. And how do you break a penile implant? I believe all vets should have the best medical treatment available ....but elective surgery for ED at the tax payers expense Jeez. Take viagra!

    October 8, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Djex

    People cant understand till they experience military "healhcare" why its free...

    November 8, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Fgs Fds

    Is it wrong that my sympathy for this man was halved when I got to the part where this involved a penile implant?

    January 9, 2014 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nobody you know

      No. We thought less of you before you even posted.

      January 9, 2014 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
  39. mzava66

    What kind of ice pack remains cold enough to cause frostbite for 19 hours? Also, even on 12 hour shifts, there should have been at least 2 nurses responsible for a 19 hour time span. Nobody observed the surgery site to look for signs of infection? I feel the hospital certainly has some responsibility, but how could he not notice? Fostbite is a very different sensation than pain relief. Did he think his pain meds were doing that great of a job? After 5 minutes he should have been moving the ice pack. Take it off for 5 mins, put it back for 5 minutes.
    I believe it's more likely, that he had nerve damage/neuropathy prior to the surgey. Probably, a large contributing factor to needing a replacement. Or, the 2nd surgery caused some nerve damage. Otherwise, he would have felt something.

    April 9, 2014 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dan

    very scientific...thanks for comin out

    October 4, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. jcburns918

    You are a total idiot.....

    October 4, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. angie

    Your tag should be nitwit. Biggits like u should lose the right to speak, let alone vote. I am from the south and proud of it. I am NOT, however, inbred, a christian, or a child molester. I am a caring person with a college degree and enough common sense to recognize trolls like u.

    October 5, 2012 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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