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Author Topic: Woman enters hospital to have baby, leaves minus arms and legs
boogers
We Three Blings


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A Florida woman entered a hospital to give birth and later had her arms and legs amputated. The hospital refuses to give her a specific reason for this unless she sues for it.

http://www.globalnewsmatrix.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4394

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Gale
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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No, they've given her a specific reason for the amputation: "Eight and a half months ago Claudia gave birth at Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital. After the birth, complications developed and she was transferred to Orlando Regional Medical Center where her arms and legs were amputated. The hospital told her she had streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria and toxic shock syndrome."

What she wants to find out and what the hospital won't tell her is whether any other patients on the floor at the time had the bacteria. In other words, she's looking for someone to blame and the hospital won't release that information claiming it would be a violation of the rights of the other unnamed patients.

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Squishy0405
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What others ways can you get TSS except from tampons?

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ThistleSoftware
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toxic shock facts

quote:
Anyone can get TSS – men, women and children. Half the reported cases of TSS are associated with women using tampons; half result from localised infections, for example following burns, boils, insect bites or surgery. The risk of TSS is greater in younger people. This is because older people are more likely to have the necessary antibodies to protect them from the toxin that causes TSS.


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Donna T
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MHO, is she has the right to find out the specific details of what happened to her. The identities of other patients having this disease, if that is the way she contracted it, don't have to be revealed, but she should be told how she became infected with such a disease that caused the loss of ALL of her limbs.
I also believe, she has every right to blame someone for this, perhaps not another patient having the disease, but definately the hospital for exposing her to it. I mean, she goes in to the hospital to have a baby and comes out with no arms or legs.
I live about 20 miles from ORMC, you can bet if I have to be hospitalized, I won't let them take me there!!!!
OK-bizarre thought, what if the hospital is just harvesting limbs and that is why they won't tell what happened.

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Sullen Moon
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quote:
Originally posted by Donna T:
MHO, is she has the right to find out the specific details of what happened to her. The identities of other patients having this disease, if that is the way she contracted it, don't have to be revealed, but she should be told how she became infected with such a disease that caused the loss of ALL of her limbs.
I also believe, she has every right to blame someone for this, perhaps not another patient having the disease, but definately the hospital for exposing her to it. I mean, she goes in to the hospital to have a baby and comes out with no arms or legs.
I live about 20 miles from ORMC, you can bet if I have to be hospitalized, I won't let them take me there!!!!
OK-bizarre thought, what if the hospital is just harvesting limbs and that is why they won't tell what happened.

Ooooo... Sounds like Donna just gave birth to a new urban legand! (no pun intended [Wink] )

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ThistleSoftware
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Harvesting limbs for what? What could they possibly want limbs for?

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Donna T
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Frankenstein?????

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Rhiandmoi
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It is my understanding that when a patient develops a life threatening infection such as this they do an investigation to make sure that their materials and methods are meeting standards of care. But to get this information she would need to file a lawsuit so that she could have a right of discovery or whatever it is called. They can't just give her this information, but if the courts accept her lawsuit and give her and her lawyers access to the hospitals records.

But even if another person on the floor had group A strep there would have to have been some seriously non-acceptable practices at work:
quote:
Group A strep bacteria are spread by direct person-to-person contact. The bacteria are carried in discharges from the nose or throat of an infected person and in infected wounds or sores on the skin. The bacteria are usually spread when infected secretions come in contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes of an uninfected person. They can also enter the body through a cut or scrape.


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reflex
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quote:
ORMC said Mejia is requesting information on if there were other patients or someone on her floor with the streptococcus. They said, if they release that to her, that would be a violation of other patients' rights.
First of all, did she consent to the amputation? The article is vague, other than saying that a span of 12 days occurred between the birth and the amputation.

Also, I admit I don't know much about medical malpractice, other than doctors are held to a higher standard (custom) than the RPP, and that doctors owe a special duty to their patients, but I fail to see how the hospital breaches any patients' rights by providing anonymous information. "Yes, you did come within X amount of feet of a patient who had Y."

The only way I could see it being a quesiton of law is if she was on a floor with, say, 12 people, and the hospital tells her that, "Yes, one of those twelve people had this bacterial infection," that gives you a 1 in 12 chance of being pegged as the person who had the infection (if she can remember them all). But still, that's a bit of a stretch.

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kingfan1978
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I'm with Donna in the fact that the woman has a right to know how she contracted the disease/virus/whatever. Other patients' names don't have to be involved but the hospital should be held accountable if they exposed her to this & are therefore accountable for her current condition. If it were me, I'd damn sure want to know if they were responsible for making me a quadurple amputee!

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kingfan1978
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quote:
Originally posted by reflex:
First of all, did she consent to the amputation? The article is vague, other than saying that a span of 12 days occurred between the birth and the amputation.

According to what she said in the article, she knew nothing about it. Just woke up with no arms & legs.

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Angel With Wax Wings
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Wow imagine going to the hospital to deliver a baby and going home a quadruple amputee. She does have the right to know what happened I think, but with a massive infection like that wouldn't SHE have NOTICED that something was WRONG LONG before they cut off her arms and legs?

~Monica

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Donna T
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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"Mejia said after she gave birth to Mathew last spring, she was kept in the hospital with complications. Twelve days after giving birth at Orlando Regional South Seminole hospital, she was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she became a quadruple amputee."

Sounds to me like all she knew was that something had gone wrong while she was giving birth--complications. I don't know that I'd start thinking that I had such a bad "complication" from child birth, that I'd lose my arms or legs, never mind all four. Besides that, if they kept on medication, she may not have realized anything majorly wrong with her limbs/skin.

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quiltsbypam
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quote:
Originally posted by Angel With Wax Wings:
Wow imagine going to the hospital to deliver a baby and going home a quadruple amputee. She does have the right to know what happened I think, but with a massive infection like that wouldn't SHE have NOTICED that something was WRONG LONG before they cut off her arms and legs?

~Monica

According to WebMD, it moves very quickly. She might not have noticed. Besides, it depends on what the other complications were. They might have included the symptoms from the flesh-eating bacteria and not have realized how serious it was.
http://www.webmd.com/hw/infection/hw140408.asp

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Tootsie Plunkette
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More information in this article.

We were discussing patient confidentiality issues over in this thread. And there has, sadly, been absolutely no progress on the case I brought up there.

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Sandman
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You would think so, Angel, but there are a few (thankfully rare) strains of aggressive strep that can get wildly out of control in a few hours. With no time for counter agents to work (the infection spreads faster than the medications can work), the only real option is radical physical isolation of the infection. Which is doctor-talk for amputation.

But I can totally understand the woman's position. If I went in to the hospital for a gallstone and came out a quadruple amputee, I'd damn sure want to know the story, too.

It sounds like the hospital is trying to cover their legal butts. If she CONTRACTED the infection in the hospital, they could very well be held legally liable. There's no way they are going to come out and ADMIT that, it would be legal suicide. If she did contract it, their only hope is to draw the legal process out so long that the only people who will still care about it is the woman and her lawyer, and they can quietly hammer out a settlement once everyone else (i.e. the media) has forgotten about it.

I really don't think the hospital would be legally obstructive about another patient specifically. It seems likely the real reason they are being this way is because if she contracted it from another patient, then that proves it was caught in the hospital....and she owns them now.

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
It sounds like the hospital is trying to cover their legal butts. If she CONTRACTED the infection in the hospital, they could very well be held legally liable. There's no way they are going to come out and ADMIT that, it would be legal suicide. If she did contract it, their only hope is to draw the legal process out so long that the only people who will still care about it is the woman and her lawyer, and they can quietly hammer out a settlement once everyone else (i.e. the media) has forgotten about it.
I don't think that is the issue at all. Here locally, several patients died over the last few years because of dosing mistakes. The hospital admitted that dosing mistakes happened and that they changed their procedures to prevent them in the future. Some of the lawsuits settled some didn't.

Hospitals are dirty places full of sick people. All they have to do is establish that they followed their procedures and that their procedures met standards. You can still get a life threatening infection in a hospital. Many people die from infections they aquired in hospitals. That doesn't mean there was malpractice.

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NobbyNobbs
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Privacy issues aside, wouldn't you expect a doctor to at least consult with a patient before cutting off all her limbs?! Wouldn't she or her husband need to sign a consent form? Wouldn't a psychiatrist sit down and talk about the ramification of what was about to happen? From the article, it seems this was a complete and total surprise to her, and that is absolutely outrageous.

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Lil' Molly
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Yeah I don't know... something's missing. Was she unconscious for those 12 days? I know I for sure would have asked why they were transfering hospitals or why I was going into surgery, at least. It's not quite the same as being put under for an appendectomy and coming out an amputee. The article definitely makes it sound like she had no idea what was going on and didn't consent at all.

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Tootsie Plunkette
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From what I know about necrotizing fasciitis, there isn't a lot of time to spare once it takes hold. It may have been a case of 'amputate now or the patient dies.'

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--Tootsie

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lynnejanet
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I don't know how it could be proven that she contracted the infection in the hospital. Strep A is very common - it's what causes strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis, and a host of other, fairly minor, infections. I suppose if they were able to identify that she was infected by a particular, very agressive, strain originating from another patient, then the hospital could be help liable.

I think the article is fairly clear that the only legal way for the hospital to release information, is in the face of a court order. Otherwise, they may (or may not) compromise confidentiality, and leave themselves open to a lawsuit.

I pretty skeptical that no informed consent was given. Modern hospitals just don't perform surgery without consent, unless the situation is a lifethreatening emergency.

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ConsummateYat
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Stonewalling by the hospital might end up provoking a lawsuit. If something like that had happened to me, I would want to know the source of my infection badly enough to sue for it.

How an incident is handled by the culpable party oftentimes makes a difference in whether or not they get sued, at least according to a medical sociology course I took way back in the day. (Not saying there was culpability in this case of course).

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NobbyNobbs
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quote:
Originally posted by Tootsie Plunkette:
From what I know about necrotizing fasciitis, there isn't a lot of time to spare once it takes hold. It may have been a case of 'amputate now or the patient dies.'

By "now" do you mean "sorry, no time to explain, here's some anesthetic, I'll explain after the surgery."? Sorry, doesn't jibe for me.

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Rhiandmoi
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In the second article it said that she was given the choice between dying and having the amputations.

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Bad Actor
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To bad she didn't have HMO for her health insurance. She would still be waiting for the arm and leg removal approval.

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by lynnejanet:
I suppose if they were able to identify that she was infected by a particular, very agressive, strain originating from another patient, then the hospital could be help liable.

Which is probably exactly what her flesh eating strain was. Hospital aquired infections are a lot more common than most people think, and if just one other patient admitted to the ward before her had this infection, or that other patients on the floor got it later, it isn't very hard to figure out that the bacteria was transported to her via hospital personnel.

But the other option is that a nurse of someone actually had it themselves, and the hospital is hiding that behind the "privacy" thing.

I agree with Sandman that the hospital's major concern is liability right now. If they could tell her, "you came into the hospital with this and you're lucky you were here when it developed so we could save your life" they would have already. Flesh eating bacteria is not a side effect of TSS or any other complication from birth--except contamination--that I've ever heard of.

Seems pretty obvious to me--well, barring the limb harvesting theory. [Wink]

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Jack Dylan
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
If they could tell her, "you came into the hospital with this and you're lucky you were here when it developed so we could save your life" they would have already.

Already posted above; as mentioned in the second article they gave her the choice between life or death. There is no other way to stop the infection from spreading other then amputation of the infected areas.

quote:
Flesh eating bacteria is not a side effect of TSS or any other complication from birth--except contamination--that I've ever heard of.

Not a side effect of TSS, rather the next step up from it. That is, if Strep A is how you managed to get infected in the firstplace. As for birth complications, you're right. No problem with the birth should result in Necrotizing Fascitis.

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Pseudo_Croat
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That sounds scary. What preventative measures could a person take so an infection (or whatever) of this magnitude doesn't happen to them?

And I think this lady has every right to sue after what happened to her. Heck, it could start a legal precendent.

- Pseudo (really scared) Croat

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medtchva
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The second article says gangrene set in after she went into shock and her kidneys shut down. Most likely she had a rare complication from Group B strep, which is usually a harmless, normal bacteria found in the intestines. Sometimes women are colonized with this in the vagina and it can cause problems if the BABY contracts it during delivery. However, there are rare cases where the mother develops a Group B uterine infection (explains the belly pain) which becomes septic (enters the bloodstream - explains the rash).

http://patients.uptodate.com/topic.asp?file=pregnan/2462

Thing is, it's a ROUTINE procedure to screen all pregnant women for the presence of Group B strep prior to delivery. Possibly she wasn't, or the test results were inaccurate, and the hospital is covering. In that case, it would take her suing to find out the truth.

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Pseudo_Croat
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Interesting info, medtchva. Is there any way to keep one's NFBSK from getting colonized by unwanted bacteria during pregnancy? Would sticking yogurt, errm, up there keep the nasties away? IIRC, some people recommend doing that for yeast infections and I was wondering if it would help prevent other infections there.

- Pseudo "it's not just for breakfast anymore" Croat

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TuFurg
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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
That sounds scary. What preventative measures could a person take so an infection (or whatever) of this magnitude doesn't happen to them?


- Pseudo (really scared) Croat

Considering the specifics of this case, not reproducing is always an option. [Wink]
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medtchva
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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
Interesting info, medtchva. Is there any way to keep one's NFBSK from getting colonized by unwanted bacteria during pregnancy? Would sticking yogurt, errm, up there keep the nasties away? IIRC, some people recommend doing that for yeast infections and I was wondering if it would help prevent other infections there.

- Pseudo "it's not just for breakfast anymore" Croat

Yogurt helps keep the natural balance of Lactobacillus which is normal vaginal flora. If something wipes it out, like antibiotics, then yeast can overgrow. I'm not sure if there are any special precautions to prevent getting colonized with Group B strep. Not to be gross, but since it's an normal intestinal bacteria, you can figure out the ways not to chance getting it in there. [fish]
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LittleDuck
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Why do I think there's a huge pile of information we're not getting here? I have read several versions of this story (thanks to Google) and several seem to be the exact same thing as others but all of them leave me feeling as if there's a lot more than meets the eye.

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Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by medtchva:
Yogurt helps keep the natural balance of Lactobacillus which is normal vaginal flora. If something wipes it out, like antibiotics, then yeast can overgrow. I'm not sure if there are any special precautions to prevent getting colonized with Group B strep. Not to be gross, but since it's an normal intestinal bacteria, you can figure out the ways not to chance getting it in there. [fish]

Is this the reason why they tell women to wipe their butts away from their NFBSKs after they do a #2?

The thing I was getting to re: yogurt suppository was to establish a good monoculture of "friendly" bacteria so "bad guy" bacteria couldn't get a foothold. I mean, it's one of the reason we eat yougurt, so it would stand to reason that it would work in other orifices and against other bad bugs.

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

Posts: 4578 | From: Sunrise, FL | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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