Have a Story to Tell? Had a medical error?

This blog is about patient safety, medical malpractice, staying healthy, and preventing future errors. Help & empower someone else, Teach a lesson, Bear witness, Build our community - Email us or call 781-444-5525.

Frustrated with a health problem?

Need an ally in your health crisis? Call 781-444-5525, or learn more.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To complete the miscarriage at home: A lack of discharge instructions

Rene's story:
Years ago I was diagnosed by more than one fertility specialist as being infertile because I had only one fallopian tube that was totally blocked. I lost my other fallopian tube in 1990 when I had a tubal pregnancy. To add to the odds stacking up against us, my husband Arthur had a low sperm count. We were told our only alternative was in vitro fertilization (IVF) which was not affordable. Unfortunately most insurance companies don't pay for this procedure, so we didn't worry about it. God had blessed me with two daughters before I got married that Arthur legally adopted at a young age. Our daughters were all grown up and out of the house. We were living life to the fullest without the responsibility of being tied down to children, when suddenly after seventeen years of marriage and not using a contraceptive I became pregnant with our son, who was conceived on February 15, 2008, just one day after our seventeen year wedding anniversary. What an anniversary gift! The doctors still can't explain how we conceived our love baby.

I had prenatal care early in the pregnancy. Then in my second trimester, my water bag broke, and I went to the hospital here in Louisiana. I was sent home to complete my miscarriage with no discharge instructions. I was told I would be going home to pass tissue the size of a bar of soap. We left the E.R. at 5 am, on Arthur's birthday, and delivered our son at home 45 minutes later in the toilet. Arthur grabbed baby Trey who was still alive, breathing and gasping for air. Within minutes Trey stopped breathing and went limp in Arthur's hands. Our love baby was gone, we would have never left the E.R. if we were told it was a possibility our baby would be still alive.

It was a nightmare! They hadn't told me that could happen. There's no way they can make me believe that was normal. But that's what they said at the medical review panel, and that it was not preventable.

At the deposition, the E.R. doctor had tears in his eyes, and said, "I didn't realize this would happen," even though his lawyer was trying to tell him to shut up. But my Ob Gyn doctor could care less! She just sat there, twirling the ice in her glass, looking at me with such bitterness. If she'd said, "Rene, I'm sorry, I made a mistake," it would be different. But to pretend that I'm the one who has a problem, really irritated me. I went to this doctor because I trusted her, she was the best. She said she would take care of me and she didn't. There should be a law to prevent hospitals from discharging people without instructions when they most need them!

Rene's Advice: All week long my body was telling me something. Everybody knows their own body. If something's not right, it's not right. If you feel uncomfortable about a procedure, ask questions. Realize that the doctor is a man and not God, and ask questions about what they're doing, and why. If your body is giving you warning signs, if the doctor can't see you, get a second opinion.

Thanks to Rene McCoy for sharing her story.

Read another story on a premature birth.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I was not told of the complications: Botched Lasik Surgery

Caprice’s story:
I went to the eye center to see if I would be a candidate for Lasik. I was not told of the complications other than the obvious, I was never told of the permanent side effects (reading glasses). I was assured that I could attain 20/20 with the surgery. After my first surgery the doctor left "debris" under the flap of the right eye, and my eye became infected. I had excruciating headaches and the antibiotics did not help.
I went back in, they had to lift the flap and remove the debris, I was not told this would change the prescription of the eye. After removing the "debris" he left behind in the initial surgery my eyesight in my left eye was 20/40 and it became 20/100 in the right. I was not allowed to use any kind of corrective lenses at this time, again I was suffering severe headaches due to the disparity between the vision in both eyes. Unable to see adequately I subsequently lost my job. I went in to have the right eye corrected again.

After this surgery both eyes were 20/40 and I failed my eye exam for my drivers license. I was told I would have to wait a year before they could go back in and "enhance my vision. One year later I received a notice in the mail advising me it was time to come in and have my eyes checked. I returned to their office only to be told I would be charged for the visit. I was indignant and told them it was a follow-up from the previous surgeries, that they had not given me 20/20 and I would not pay. I was escorted back for more tests on my eyes. I was told they could get me 20/20 this time and i asked would this affect my near vision I was assured by two technicians it would not. I was scheduled for the "enhancement." After the "enhancement" surgery I discovered the doctor not only had left "debris" in the right eye he had also left some in the left eye as well. The field of vision in my right eye was greatly obstructed.

Not wanting to allow this "doctor" to touch me again I went to a specialist in Dallas only to discover not only had the doctor left "debris" in my right and left eyes, he had left creases in the flap of the right and ruined the lens in that eye as well! I got astigmatism in the left eye and I have to permanently wear reading glasses all the time. The specialist spent 45 minutes cleaning out the "debris" and "ironing" out the creases. I want to tell the world what they did to me!

Read another story about elective surgery. Thanks to Caprice for sharing her story.