M.N. 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. On the third day of this stay, and treatment with Vancomycin, another obstetrician (OB) did a needle biopsy which clearly showed puss and infection. I was released that day. Neither I nor my primary OB received any information about these test results. On day 12 (post surgery), I had an appointment with my primary OB. Upon hearing of the tests for the first time, he remained on hold with the hospital until he could get the results. ONLY AT THIS TIME, were we told of my MRSA infection, which was also resistant to Vancomycin. I was immediately admitted to another hospital (of my choice), and at 1am the next morning had an 8″ X 4″ X 2″ section of my abdomen removed due to infection. The wound would remain open to heal from the inside out. After a ten day stay, with I.V. treatment with Zyvox, I was released with a Vacuum pump for 2 1/2 months, and home health. This infection was acquired in the hospital, during the initial surgery, and enclosed in the wound. Had my OB not requested the follow-up test results, and remained on the phone to receive the information, we would have never known in time. Yes, it could have been fatal. As it is, I am perfectly healed, with a very, very large scar. I am lucky, and I know that. I share my story, so that others will be aware. I reported the hospital to the Joint Commission, so that they will be aware. I will not let this go unanswered.