It has been called a medical malpractice nightmare -- a woman suffering from a blocked colon was the victim of a botched surgery that forced the amputation of her left leg and a permanent colostomy bag. Maryland residents may be familiar with this case as the woman in question has spent the last three years fighting for compensation. She contends it was surgeon error that led to her current debilitating condition.
Court records indicate the woman went to the hospital with severe pain and an inability to use the bathroom as a result of severe scarring of the colon. Going against standard procedure, the attending doctor used a stent intended for use in the esophagus to attempt to unblock her colon. While this in itself is not technically improper, certain considerations must be met, including specialized training for the doctor and informed consent of the patient. According to the lawsuit, neither of those things happened.
Complications from the surgery required the woman's left leg to be amputated following a serious blood clot, and she will live the rest of her life with a colostomy bag. To add insult to injury, the woman and her family were billed for both the procedure and the stent that caused these issues. They are currently in court seeking monetary damages from the hospital, but no settlement has yet been reached.
Maryland residents trust their medical health practitioners to do what is best for them in scenarios in which their health is compromised or in danger. Surgeon error, intentional or not, is a violation of that trust when it is not owned up to by the surgeon and the authorities to whom he or she answers. If this surgeon is found to be culpable for essentially experimenting on a patient, both he and the hospital may be required to provide financial reimbursement of damages sustained to the woman and her family.