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Delayed DX lead to 3 total SX, lifetime meds, loss of RN job Medical Malpractice

Discussion in 'Professional, Medical Malpractice' started by Kimber84, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. Kimber84

    Kimber84 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    RUNNING OUT OF TIME. FL Statute of Limitations is two years, and I didn't realize this. I will be filing a petition for 90 day extension.
    CAUSATION: If NOT for the delay in diagnosis/appropriate treatment, a second and possibly third surgery could have been avoided, along with the requirement of lifelong fluconazole therapy with the potential hepatic damage and un-insurability. If NOT for the delay, I would still be gainfully employed as a full time RN, have medical benefits, and not have painful adhesions from repeated unnecessary surgeries that could have been AVOIDED. NOBODY will take my case due to the close proximity of the Statue of Limitations, which in my case would be 10/31/19 after the second surgery was done and the cultures confirmed what the bone scan from 10/11/19 showed. Now, ad the Petition for 90 day extension, that puts us at January 31, 2022. PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP.

    * 8/29/19: I underwent a robotic assisted transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion of L4-5 at the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic.
    * 8/31/19: 1st night home, temp was 102.4F oral.
    Called neurosurgeon; he stated it was “normal post-op temperature. Take tylenol and watch the temp.”
    Took Tylenol, temp never dropped below 100F. (I kept a journal with dates & symptoms)
    Began having night sweats nightly. SOAKED the bed.
    * 9/05/19 Pain was increasing, and temperature was back to 102F. Night sweats continue
    Called surgeon, PA returned calls, and said if fever persists, see primary care doc.
    * 9/11/2019, saw DDS to check old root canal/crown pain from prior month. Said needed pulled due to abscess. Placed me on a Z-Pak
    Next day, fever peaked 103.8F; made appt to see primary care. Night sweats continue
    * Friday, 9/13/2019, say APRN. Did UA and CBC/BMP. blood in urine (UTI) and started on Cipro 500mg TID. Stopped Z-Pak.
    * Saturday, 9/14/2019, fever peaked at 103.1F Night sweats continue
    * Sunday, 9/15/2019, fever started at 102.6F with tylenol. Went to ED at Advent Health Wesley Chapel at 1100, temp was 104.7F,EXTREME PAIN. All cultures & tests inconclusive; admitted as in-patient. Fevers and night sweats continued for FOUR days in hospital, being treated with Zosyn & Vanco IV for non-proven bacterial infection. Consult with neurosurgeon with Neuspine Institute while in hospital. Infectious Disease doc D/C me, f/u with primary care and go to oral surgeon for abscessed root canal (even though MRI of jaw showed NO infection). Placed me on 28 days of TWO Rx, Cefdinir and Doxycyclene. (Why? No bacterial infection indicated on any labs)
    * 9/24/2019, saw primary care. Fever 100.9F oral, still having nightly sweats, increased pain.
    * 9/25/2019, Oral surgeon removed molar. He clearly stated the infection was MILD; NOT anywhere near enough to cause all of this fever and night sweats.
    I called Infectious Disease doctor Castillo, left message with answering service.
    Fever of 102F at 1930 that night.
    * 9/26/2019, ID doc instructed me to return to ED at Wesley Chapel
    ALL cultures and diagnostics were repeated, even though I was on an antibiotic the entire time. I was admitted, and watched for a total of 9 days! No treatment, other than tylenol when needed, as fevers and night sweats continued. Pain remained nearly intolerable. I was D/C and advised to see my original neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic. My health was declining rapidly.
    * Monday, 10/07/2019, traveled to Jacksonville for my 6 week F/U with Dr. Chen. After having fevers, night sweats, increasing pain that pain meds didn't touch, and TWO hospitalizations, he was at a loss. He referred me to the Mayo infectious disease team. My fever was 102F that night.
    * Tuesday, 10/08/2019, I was seen by Dr.Oring, Infectious Disease. I had new MRI, and another aspiration of fluid from my back, just below the surface of my scars. New MRI showed enhanced T2 hyperintensity @L4-5. He sent me back home to Dade City. Fever was 101F at 1930.
    * 10/09/2019, fever of 102 and sweats at 0245. Dr. Oring’s office called to tell me to return on Friday, 10/11/2019 for CT guided BONE BIOPSY. Advised to seek oncology consult.
    * 10/11/2019, drove back to Jacksonville, pain 8/10, fever, sweats, wheelchair bound, to have bone biopsy by Dr. Gupta, neuroradiologist, at Mayo Clinic. Was EXTREMELY painful procedure, billed as surgery.
    * 10/15/2019, met with oncologist in Wesley Chapel. She ordered a bone marrow biopsy.
    - Dr. Chen called from Mayo to tell me that the results from the bone biopsy on 10/11/19, and his note says (directly from my patient portal)
    Cultures grew out Candida, but this is suspected to be a contaminant. Currently, we still do not have an infectious agent or a cause for her ongoing fevers, although the results of a CT-guided biopsy are still pending. I did review her MRI scan, which did show some progressive inflammatory changes within the vertebrae adjacent to the fusion, which were nonspecific in nature. At this point, we discussed the possibility of moving forward with an open biopsy and culture to more definitively rule in or rule out an infection. We will tentatively schedule this for November 12th as the patient will be undergoing a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow and ideally we would have the results of this on hand before deciding to move forward. This could take approximately 2 weeks to return.”
    Hind sight: why was the bone biopsy not repeated to confirm C-Albicans?
    * 10/16/2019, had bone marrow BX.
    * 10/22/2019, met with oncologist. Bone marrow BX was negative for cancer. I called Dr. Chen’s office and left word for him to contact me ASAP, as my mental health was suffering and I did not know how much more I could endure. Fevers, PAIN, and night sweats increasing, along with neurological symptoms.
    * 10/25/2019, nearly 8 weeks into this, Dr. Chen contacted me to discuss moving the surgery up to 10/29/2019 from 11/12/2019.
    * 10/29/2019, OPEN biopsy surgery, including use of gardner wells traction tongs on my skull. Woke up in EXTREME pain.
    * 10/30/2019, late in the day, I was informed by Dr. Chen that the cultures revealed that the infection WAS in fact CANDIDA ALBICANS. Hence, yet ANOTHER surgery would now be required to once again (3rd time) replace all pins and screws, remove the existing fusion and cage, and replace with bone from my iliac crest and a new cage. I would require a PICC line to receive eight weeks of antifungal Caspofungen, and then have to take 200mg Fluconazole for the REST OF MY LIFE or until the hardware was removed, if ever.
    I asked him HOW this could have gotten in my spine, and he openly stated that the only place it could have happened was in the OR on the first surgery. (Contamination of the Robot perhaps? Or someone in OR infected with C-Albicans in their mouth/throat or from having artificial nails?) See article:
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2141723/
    * 11/01/2019, 3rd surgery was performed.
    Dr. Chen spoke with my husband after surgery, and expressed that when they removed the cage, that the fungal infection had already begun to devour the surrounding vertebrae above and below the fusion.
    *11/03/2019, I was discharged from Mayo Clinic with a PICC line in place. VERY difficult commute (4 hours) home. Temp was 99.6F upon arrival home.

    * On 11/08/2019, I was advised by my human resources department that I would not have a job to return to, as I was unable to return to work prior to 12/30/2019, and had used up my 90 days of personal leave by 11/29/2019. They would not grant an extension.
    When I went on leave for the surgery, I was training as an Interventional Radiology RN. I had left the OR as a circulator due to my back condition. At that point, I had been a nurse for 8.5 years, and with Bayfront Health Brooksville for nearly a year, full time.
    Had to go on COBRA for December; hadn’t made any money in three months. Husband works part-time at Lowe’s. Financially in dire straights.
    Owed 15k to Advent Health Wesley Chapel for two hospitalizations, 13 days total, and no DX ever made.
    Owed Mayo for the 1st surgery, and two more to come.

    The delay in diagnosis and treatment not only caused me to immensely suffer unnecessarily for months, but still to this day affects me. At my follow-up with Dr. Chen in December 2019, he said I was not released for work until 3 MONTHS post op (which would have been 3/01/2020). Bayfront Health wouldn’t rehire me, nor could I get work anywhere else. Not only because I hadn’t worked in an OR or in any capacity as a RN for over six months, but because COVID-19 pandemic had hit. I now am only able to work as a contractor, taking random assignments at ambulatory surgery centers, none of which give me any sort of stability. I continue to suffer with back pain, and will be seeing Dr. Scott Cutler to review my radiology records to try and find a solution for my pain. I still have to see a pain management doctor for medications.

    I fear that in the future, as I age, I will be uninsurable due to being on a lifetime of Fluconazole, and pain meds. Based on everything I have recorded, the following are legitimate litigious points:

    C. albicans is the most common fungal species isolated from biofilms either formed on (permanent) implanted medical devices or on human tissue. COMMON: NOT RARE
    PLEASE, help me. My life has been altered in so many ways, and the damages done can never be undone. Thank you for taking the time to review this. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and hopefully moving forward on a suit against parties involved in the delay of my diagnosis and treatment, and major impact on the remaining time of my life .

    All of the following justify neglegence:
    *Failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis (Two hospitalizations, 14 days total, no DX! Just sent me to original doctor again!
    *Delay in treatment - lead to further damage of surrounding vertebrae.
    *Failure to order appropriate tests - never tested fluid in spine for fungus, nor reordered 1st positive test to confirm. Simply wrote it off as contaminant.
    *Improper administration of meds (given antibiotics when not indicated; which in this case, could have worsened my fungal infection)
    *Failure to assess patient condition (Fever of 102.4F upon arrival home, and being told it's normal. Never followed up with me)
    *Failure to intervene in a timely fashion
    *C. albicans is the most common fungal species isolated from biofilms either formed on (permanent) implanted medical devices or on human tissue. COMMON: NOT RARE
    * Medical equipment (Robot in OR suite, O-Arm, Rep in room, etc. contaminant?)

    PLEASE, help me. My life has been altered in so many ways, and the damages done can never be undone. Thank you for taking the time to review this. I look forward to hearing from someone soon and hopefully moving forward on a suit against all parties involved in the delay of my diagnosis and treatment, and major impact on the remaining time of my life . I have a complete chronological record of all happenings.
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    TL;DR

    I didn't see a non-rhetorical or legal question in your post. Do you have one?
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Keep contacting medical malpractice attorneys in your state for help. Lawyers generally don't solicit clients off message board forums like this one and that's not the purpose of these boards. I wish you the best of luck in finding an attorney to help you soon.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I did read (though much of it I skimmed) and I can tell you that your case is far too complex for any internet forum. Keeping hunting for attorneys. Be VERY persistent.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Please be aware that the 90-day extension, while automatic, is intended to allow you time to properly investigate the matter, as required by statute. Contact every med-mal attorney you can. Also, please understand that your case may not be as clear-cut as you believe, which could be scaring attorneys away as well.

    Good luck
     
  6. Kimber84

    Kimber84 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In the eyes of the court, is this considered negligence? Most are saying yes, they just don't have the time before the deadline to hire experts and risk it not being worth the payout. I didn't give it a second thought, until the second surgery came back with the biopsy showing exactly what the bone bx showed weeks prior. Then we began to say, "why didn't AdventHealth do a bone bx when the MRI showed the same problem early on..."
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There is no way anybody can say yes with any certainty. They can guess, and obviously are guessing. The court (jury, probably) will hear all of the evidence and make a decision. That decision cannot be predicted.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea (not the least of which is because your post is full of medical jargon and abbreviations). Medical malpractice cases require expert medical testimony.

    Well...medical malpractice cases are typically handled on contingency. In other words, the lawyer doesn't get paid unless you win. For a case to the worthwhile, the lawyer must determine that 25-40% of your likely recovery will be enough to make it worthwhile for him to spend dozens or hundreds of hours on the case. Even if a lawyer thinks a case is a "slam dunk," there's always some risk, and let's say that the best likelihood of success that the lawyer ever assigns is 85% (and a failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis case is NEVER going to reach that level). Let's also assume that the lawyer thinks the case is worth $100,000. Multiplying $100k x 85% means the lawyer will value the case at $85k, and 1/3 of $85k is $28,333.33. Now let's assume that the lawyer thinks the case will require 100 hours of time. That works out to $283.33 per hour, which right on the cusp of what the lawyer's going to be willing to accept. Also take into account that the lawyer has to front the expert witness's fee, which will probably be at least $10k.

    I agree with all of the prior suggestions in the thread.
     

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