Pennsylvania residents may have seen media reports recently about a 59-year-old woman whose legs and arms had to be amputated to prevent the spread of an infection. The woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital. The woman alleges that the hospital failed to diagnose her medical condition in a timely manner and this failure has left her in a worsened condition.
According to her lawsuit, the 59-year-old visited the hospital’s emergency room just days apart on three different occasions with pain in her pelvic region and abdomen. Following the first visit, the ER gave her painkillers and asked her to follow-up with her doctor. She was scheduled for a hysterectomy. However, she allegedly experienced pain in her pelvic region again and visited the hospital a second time. She did not receive any treatment at that time either, and was sent home again. The following day she was back at the hospital exhibiting symptoms of septic shock.
She was finally admitted to the hospital and was determined to have an E-coli infection, which had started in her uterine tissue and spread. As a result of the sepsis, doctors had no option but to amputate her extremities where gangrene had set in. The woman alleges that as a result of the hospital staff failing to diagnose her condition by not performing a full pelvic exam initially, she is now left in a worsened condition, will require long-term expensive medical care and will be dependent on others for the remainder of her life.
Healthcare providers have an ongoing duty to provide a reasonable standard of care. In the event such care is not provided and harm to the patient results, the patient may be able to hold the negligent healthcare provided responsible. Although the harm done to a patient cannot be undone, holding the negligent party responsible may bring a sense of justice.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore woman sues Hopkins after losing limbs,” Andrea McDaniels, Dec. 30, 2014