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Stories about Doctor Accountability

Ruptured disc surgery fuses wrong
Posted 07/01/09 by Elizabeth of Umatilla,
elizabeth_of_umatilla_oregon

In 1976 I had my back operated on (because I had a ruptured disk) and the doctor fused my back wrong. In 1978, a neurologist tried to fix it, but the damage was too extensive. I have had chronic pain every since.

Family Experiences Many Medical Errors
Posted by William of Asheville,

My wife’s life was shortened by hepatitis C which she contracted at a clinic in Minnesota. I can give you proof. When my wife arrived at the clinic, after multiple tests, it was determined that she had no physical problem, but needed psychiatric treatment. (NOTE: No elevated liver enzymes.) As we were awaiting a taxi to depart a month later, three doctors suddenly appeared (why THREE doctors?). They said her liver enzymes were “slightly elevated”, and when we got back home to Clearwater, FL, we should have them checked. A week later she was diagnosed with hepatitis C, and later died of liver failure as a result.

Multiple misdiagnoses before identifying Castleman’s disease
Posted by Dacrice of West Des Moines,

I was explaining to the doctor that I was having some problems breathing and catching my breath, and also I had broken out in hives. The good old doctor told me that I was going through postpartum stress. So he treated me for that, but that was not the problem.

Toe Surgery Has Caused Other Medical Problems
Posted by Cindy of Bloomington,

Podiatrist A negligently severed a tendon in my toe while removing a bone spur, causing the toe to rotate. Podiatrist B only performed half of the operation necessary to repair it, causing the condition to worsen. Hopefully, Podiatrist C has been successful, but the jury is still out.

Recieved the Wrong Surgical Implant
Posted 06/28/09 by Linda of Matawan,
linda_of_matawan_new_jersey

In 2000, I went into a surgery for my TMJ Joint. If needed, I agreed to a homograft (tissue or organ transplanted from a donor of the same species but different genetic makeup), but I only agreed to this. A silastic (flexible, inert silicone elastomer) implant was what the doctor put inside my head, after he removed the entire front portion of my right ear to get to the joint by open arthroscopy (a surgical procedure orthopedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint). In short, the wrong implant was put into my body.

Daughter’s Surgery Ended in Medication Overdose and Death
Posted 06/27/09 by Lenore of Oak Park,
lenore_of_oak_park_california

My 12 year old daughter, Leah, had an epidural for pain relief following surgery. It was approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch in the wrong place. The staff then removed her pulse oximeter after 24 hours while continuing to increase the narcotics: the hospital was “testing” a new computer program. Pediatric dosages had not yet been programmed in. Most staff was not trained in using this system. She died 30 hours after surgery from many errors, and eventually an overdose.

Second Hip Replacement Resulted in Limp and More Surgeries
Posted 06/15/09 by Leslie from Berryville, Virginia

The surgeon in California, who originally did a hip replacement on my right hip, used a laser to assure that both my legs were the same length. When the liner broke (13 years later), the orthopedic surgeon replaced the ball with a larger ball. This resulted in my right leg (where hip replacement was) being longer than left leg. I now limp because the left leg is approximately 3/4″ shorter.

Hospital and Surgeon Ignored My Daughter’s Latex Allergy
Posted 06/03/09 by Lesley of Stamford,
lesley_of_stamford_connecticut

My family experienced a surgical error in 2007. We filed a complaint with the state department of public health over this incident. In the single issue of exposing an IgE latex allergic patient to a medical device containing latex, it should have been very easy for DPH to find that the surgeon and hospital provided our daughter with negligent care. The device was clearly labeled as containing latex, the hospital and surgeon identified our daughter, Kelly, as a latex allergic patient before surgery, standard of care at the hospital was the strict avoidance of all latex products in an surgical/medical procedure for an identified latex allergic patient, and the Informed Consent for this procedure does not give the hospital or surgeon permission to treat our daughter with a medical device containing latex.

Overdose of Medication Administered During Surgical Procedure
Posted 05/29/09 by Kathryn of Tampa,
kathryn_of_tampa_florida

I needed to have gall bladder surgery on 10/31/91, and the surgeon wanted me to have an endoscopy to see if a very large gall stone could be broken up (so I would not need major surgery, and he could possibly do the surgery lapriscopically). I was not told what drug I was going to be given, just that I was going to be given something in my IV to ‘relax me.’ I was given my first does of Versed which did nothing, then a second dose which sort of made me woozy. During the procedure I woke up 5 times choking, gasping for breath (I’m a very bad asthmatic also), and every time I woke up more Versed was pumped into my IV.

ER Doctor Missed Two DVTs and Five Pulmonary Embolisms
Posted 05/28/09 by Michelle of Milford,

In January 2007, I went to the ER due to severe pain in right leg calf along with chest pain and shortness of breath. Due to having gall bladder surgery the previous week, and having a hereditary blood clotting disorder, I was concerned that I had a blood clot in my leg.

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Stories about Hip and Knee Replacement

Knee replacement success
Posted 09/05/13 by John of Mine Hill,

What I would expect from a good warranty: I had both knees done in 2007 and my right hip in 2012. I would expect that a device of this nature should have some warranty aside from the “implied” warranty. I should think that a warranty for either a hip or knee would include the cost Continue Reading

Knee replacement improved my lifestyle
Posted by Jean of Wichita,

What I would expect from a good warranty: ALL replacement costs including hospital, doctors, and any other medical expense should be covered. Jean’s story: My total left knee replacement one year ago has performed beautifully and my lifestyle is much improved. My doctor recommended the Stryker knee and I saw a video about the product Continue Reading

Second Hip Replacement Resulted in Limp and More Surgeries
Posted 06/15/09 by Leslie from Berryville, Virginia

The surgeon in California, who originally did a hip replacement on my right hip, used a laser to assure that both my legs were the same length. When the liner broke (13 years later), the orthopedic surgeon replaced the ball with a larger ball. This resulted in my right leg (where hip replacement was) being longer than left leg. I now limp because the left leg is approximately 3/4″ shorter.

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Stories about Hospital Infections/ Superbugs

Barth of California
Posted 04/30/08 by Gregory Foster
barth_of_california

My father chose to go to the hospital in the middle of the night due to a persistent cough (which he had caught from my mother) and some shortness of breath. The doctors gave him a very high dose of steroids as an injection and then followed by steroid pills in order to help him breathe better. It was determined he did not have heart failure or pneumonia.

June Anne Brunner of Potosi, Wisconsin
Posted 04/02/08 by Mary of New York,
june_anne_brunner_of_potosi_wisconsin

In April 2008, my mother, June Anne Brunner, fell and broke her leg. She had surgery in a Wisconsin hospital to support the bone. The surgical wound became infected with MRSA, and had the whole family scared.

Isabella Neves of Atwater, California
Posted 04/01/08 by Isabella of Atwater,
isabella_neves_of_atwater_california

My mother was in the hospital suffering from cardio-vascular disease. She got MRSA while there and continued to have it until she died. At one point while I visited her, every room had a MRSA sign outside the room on the entire second floor. At no time did the nursing staff tell or ensure visitors to down gloves, masks, etc. it was just a free-for-all. NO MONITORING AT ALL. I was told that the hospital was understaffed in its nursing. One could not tell if people wandering around the corridors, obviously employed by the hospital, were nurses or janitors.

This staph infection literally changed my life
Posted 03/05/08 by Pam of San Jose,
pamela_of_san_jose_california

In July of 2007 I went into a hospital in San Jose, California to have back surgery and I was sent home with a staph infection within the incision site that almost cost me my life.

Still in chronic pain years after MRSA infection
Posted 01/01/08 by Arnold of Canyon Lake,
arnold_jamnik_of_canyon_lake_texas

I ended up with MRSA after a major back surgery. It spread to my incision and my back still has an open wound draining this infection that my surgeons nurse claims is S. Aureus.

Roland Martin of Texas
Posted 12/21/07 by Roland of

I had open heart surgery in 2000 and got MRSA during the operation. Doctors went back in and removed my sternum. I was on Vancomycin for six weeks and was very ill.

Alicia Cole of Los Angeles, California
Posted 07/10/07 by Alicia of Los Angeles,
alicia_cole_of_los_angeles_california

Alicia, an actress who played a doctor in this public health ad, is a Survivor of Necrotizing Fasciitis, which she contracted following routine surgery at a top rated hospital in August of 2006. Following her mother’s discovery of a black dot on Alicia’s stomach, she was thrust into a barrage of tests, drugs and six more surgeries to save her life and possible amputation of her left leg.

M.N. of Louisiana
Posted 06/27/07 by M.N. of
mn_of_louisiana

In May of 2006, I went in to the hospital for a routine abdominal total hysterectomy. I had two previous C-sections, so my physician used the same incision site. After 4 days at home, I noticed a hard lump under the surgery site. I had a low fever, but nothing remarkable, and no pain. On day 7 (post surgery), I returned to the same hospital’s E.R.(due to higher fever and abnormal looking lump under wound site) and waited 6 hours for a room. An ultrasound revealed a mass of some type under the incision.

Carrie Simon of West Hartford, Connecticut
Posted 01/24/07 by Carrie of West Hartford,
carrie_simon_of_west_hartford_connecticut

In January of 2005, I was admitted to a major teaching hospital in the northeast for heart valve replacement and repair surgery. The surgery was successful, yet a few days later I began to show the early symptoms of MRSA.

Daughter suffers medical error and hospital infections her whole life
Posted 01/19/07 by Meredith of Rancho Cordova,
meredith_williams_of_california

Over the course of Meredith’s medical treatment for RDS (respiratory distress syndrome) and BPD (bronco pulmonary dysplasia), she suffered a range of medical errors, medication errors and hospital viruses and infections over ten years.

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Stories about Medical Errors

Toe Surgery Has Caused Other Medical Problems
Posted 07/01/09 by Cindy of Bloomington,

Podiatrist A negligently severed a tendon in my toe while removing a bone spur, causing the toe to rotate. Podiatrist B only performed half of the operation necessary to repair it, causing the condition to worsen. Hopefully, Podiatrist C has been successful, but the jury is still out.

Stopped breathing, woke up during surgery
Posted 04/05/09 by Alan G. of
alan_g_of_arizona

In 2006, I was having a Medtronic morphine pump put into my body and the catheter placed into my spinal column. The surgery proceeded well until the surgeon asked the anesthesiologist to give me a shot of antibiotic. The anesthesiologist gave me another dose of the paralytic agent instead of the antibiotic. This caused me to stop breathing and to wake up during the surgery.

Misdiagnosed for four years
Posted 04/03/09 by Joe and Betty LeBlanc of
joe_and_betty_leblanc_of_virginia

Beginning in 1994, my wife Betty LeBlanc was misdiagnosed for more than four years with fibromyalgia. Because we have no approved accurate laboratory test for Lyme disease my wife and thousands like her have been and continue to be misdiagnosed.

Accidentally cut off blood flow during surgery
Posted by Gwen of Lake Jackson,
gwen_of_lake_jackson_texas

An inept surgeon, during a repair of an abdominal aneurysm, made a mistake by cutting off the blood flow to the kidneys during my husband’s surgery. After this surgery his vitals began shutting down and he was rushed into surgery to make a repair to this mistake, but it was already too late as his kidneys had been damaged.

New doctor erroneously decides on new diagnosis
Posted by Barbara S. of
barbara_s_of_connecticut

While my psychiatrist at a local university affiliated mental health clinic was on maternity leave, I was assigned to another physician. My usual psychiatrist had prescribed three different antidepressants to be taken at the same time. This is sometimes done to treat “break-through” symptoms. Apparently, the combination caused side effects that looked somewhat like low-level hypomanic symptoms.

Almost left hospital with untreated, severe spinal infection
Posted by Paul of Chesapeake,
paul_of_chesapeake_virginia

After back surgery, I still had severe pain that was thought to be pressure on the nerves from the surgical scar tissue. I was given a Racz catheter treatment at a local hospital as outpatient surgery in an attempt break up scar tissue and relieve the pressure on the nerve. Needles with a fluid are inserted numerous times to the scar tissue site.

Be cautious of what’s in the IV
Posted by Vera of Tryon,

After telling the doctor I was allergic to all penicillin medications, I was given one via IV after ear surgery. I went into anaphylactic shock.

Respiratory arrest in Kentucky
Posted 04/02/09 by Sherri of Summerfield,

Following a hysterectomy in a Kentucky hospital, I was taken to my room where the nurse connected the IV. I stopped breathing, turned blue and went into respiratory arrest. The nurse was involved in busy work and did not notice.

Suffering long after surgery
Posted by Rick of South Kent,

While recuperating from kidney surgery in 2007, I was “dropped off” from the recovery room to a regular patient room while still asleep. I woke in the morning without being able to call the nurse, not being able to adjust my bed, and I had no IV or pain medication.

Walking with limp and cane after hip surgery
Posted by Rita H. of
rita_h_of_indiana

I had a left hip surgery in 2007 and the doctor used a round silver ball and taped it to my left leg to measure the length of the bone in the x-ray room. I thought this would be good and to make my left leg the length of my right leg that I had 3 previous hip surgeries. Well, my left leg is 1″ shorter than my right and now I still walk with a limp and use a cane.

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