Share this site! The Safe Patient Project is a Consumers Union campaign focused on eliminating medical harm, improving FDA oversight of prescription drugs and promoting disclosure laws that give information to consumers about health care safety and quality.

Negligence Led to Mother’s Death

My mother, 83, had knee replacement surgery at a small hospital in Wisconsin. Two days after surgery she developed shortness of breath and pressure in her chest.  My sister, our mother’s caregiver, had to bring this to the attention of the medical staff.  Chest x-rays were requested which revealed mild edema, enlarged cardiac silhouette, and calcifications within the aorta.  Yet, her doctor discharged her five days after surgery with all these symptoms.  My sister confronted the discharge nurse and insisted our mother was in no condition to be released. The nurse refused to  call a doctor to re-evaluate our mother’s medical  situation.  Reluctantly,  my sister took our mother home.  About 1 1/2 hrs. later, mother began experiencing labored breathing and severe back pain.  The hospital’s ambulance service was called.   She was immediately treated for a heart attack.  But, the obvious symptoms were ignored too long and it was too late. Her condition continued to deteriorate.  She passed away the next day.  Written by Judy from Hendersonville, NC.


Geographies: ,