Skip to comments.NYC Woman Loses Hands, Feet In Hospital 'Mistake'
Posted on 11/21/2008 4:27:58 PM PST by Michael.SF.
NEW YORK (CBS) ― She was a vibrant young mother who went to a Brooklyn hospital for what she thought was a kidney stone. She wound up leaving without her hands and feet because of what her lawyers call a "medical mistake."
Now, Tabitha Mullings is suing.
The 32-year-old suffered an infection and ended up a quadriplegic with impaired vision.
"Because of this hospital, this emergency room, with back pain and side pain, and she leaves here on a stretcher with no hands and feet and legally blind," said Sanford Rubenstein, Mullings' attorney.
It was on Sept. 14 when Mullings came to the hospital suffering from abdominal pain, and had a kidney stone, and a condition with a known propensity for infection.
But Mullings' lawyers say there was no blood test. She was sent home, and when her fiancé brought her back the next day, an infection was raging. It choked off the blood flow to her extremities. After gangrene set in, her hands turned black, her feet turned black, all four limbs had to be amputated.
Is this something that is rare? Should the hospital have been advised of this condition? Did she know she had this condidition and what blood test would be required to determine that this condition existed?
As bad as I feel for the woman, I would be curious to know a bit more before finalizing an opinion on the level of responsibility of those involved.
“Because of this hospital, this emergency room, with back pain and side pain, and she leaves here on a stretcher with no hands and feet and legally blind,”
I’m no fan of lawsuits and trial lawyers, but if there was ever a case for a huge settlement due to malpractice, this is it.
That article is written awful. Hard to understand it.
See George C. Scott in the movie “The Hospital.”
But there are still questions to be answered that are not covered in this short article.
“She certainly hired a very eloquent attorney didn’t she?”
A regular Oliver Wendell Gump.
MRSA - my thoughts also.
Sue the hospital for the hospital.
This is really one of those times when you want one of the lowest, dirtiest lawyers representing you. That barely qualifies as a “mistake.” This woman should get at least $50,000,000, if not $75,000,000.
Lots of possible factors other than malpractice, but probably will have to be sorted out by a judge and/or a jury.
It’s not unusual for an infection to occur if someone has kidney stones.
They had less chance of picking that up if they didnt give her a blood test, as the article indicates.
Paging Henry Paulson.......bailout in aisle 3.
sounds like she developed septicemia from an infection and that can cause blood to clot and people to lose limbs,,must have been horrible. Strange case,,I would like more details.
Wait until there’s some facts before deciding. What DID the hospital do? There’s nothing to indicate they did anything at all and we have no idea what her preexisting problem was. Did she have impaired immunity because of AIDS? What, exactly?
At first I thought that they mistakenly amputated her hands and feet by performing the wrong operation on her. We’ve all heard the stories of doctors removing the wrong leg or lung.
Agreed. But the article states a "raging infection" occurring within 24 hours. What blood test would have been required to determine that?
I suspect it would not have been picked up by routine tests.
I imagine you would be quite pissed off if doctors hacked off your extremities.
This is the second time a tragedy like this has occurred...A few years back (2005 or 2006), a woman in Florida lost all four limbs from some kind of complication that set in upon her delivery, IIRC.
Blood test would have been a blood culture,,no resuts would have been back in 24 hrs whether they did it or not. She was septic the next day.
The facts have to be known before malpractice is known.
This is the story as given by a plaintiff’s malpractice attorney, who obviously knows that getting his name in the news will help his practice. So even though he may well have a good case, I question if the details have been reported accurately.
“this appears to be the plaintiff’s lawyer’s version...”
He’s a typical loudmouth Brooklyn plaintiff attorney, who appears on TV whenever possible. I think he also had a professional relationship with Johnny Cochran for a while.
He probably had a runner in the hospital who fed him the case.
So she had DM, I take it. Why be so cryptic? I suppose he’s laying the groundwork for the lawsuit, but he might as well be more forthcoming because it’s apparent her privacy isn’t a priority here.
Talk about life handing you a crap sandwich!
He's a good guy and did a good job.
Nah - that would usually be confined to one extremity. I'm thinking some sort of coagulopathy. I forget what it is that can bring it on, but I've heard of similar cases.
I'm guessing the ER is swamped with people with everything from someone sniffles who's scared he has SARS to gunshot wounds. Something got missed and a lot more info to judge whether or not the ER folk blew it or if it was just a sad case of missed clues. Did the woman know her own medical history and was she able to tell the ER folk intelligibly? Did she have any sort of record that was accessible by the ER?
Yes, but how far will that get him when he talks like this:
"Because of this hospital, this emergency room, with back pain and side pain, and she leaves here on a stretcher" --Sanford Rubenstein
He sounds more like Fred Sanford.
“But the article states a “raging infection” occurring within 24 hours. What blood test would have been required to determine that?”
That is of course based on the interview with her lawyer, who is prone to hyperbole as often as he breathes.
Agreed all the facts would have to be known before any decision could be made on whether malpractice was committed. But in Kings County (Brooklyn), defending this case on behalf of the hospital is going to be a difficult sell.
That’s it - DIC, right? Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy?
If there isn't any causal relation between the hospital's conduct and the injury, or if they can't get a good malpractice affidavit (don't know their law - but GA requires an affidavit from a practicing physician stating exactly what the doctors did wrong), it goes out on summary judgment.
If it survives S/J, the hospital will settle even if they did nothing wrong. A jury can't be expected to look at a horribly maimed mother and not give her money. This is what we used to call a "seven nuns in a station wagon" case - you're wrong even if you're not wrong.
Very sad story.....
What a horribly written article by John Slattery, Emmy-award winning ? journalist. The story is unclear, one-sided and just poorly unfolded.
The case has early settlement written all over it, due to the horrifying damages. Rubenstein is well connected and will have no problem finding someone to submit an affidavit of merit.
Right,,associated with spetic shock,,an awful thing to see.
Emergency Room care in the US has collapsed, especially in the medical disaster areas of urban hospitals like this one.
The staff is stressed to the max providing free care to the riff raff welfare parasites and illegal immigrants.
Another million or two to this unfortunate young woman and her shyster, and there will be that much less money to run the ERs.
Yea but some other signs should have began popping up too. Dysreflexia conditions for one. A UTI is another. An untreated UTI can lead to Pnuemonia and CHF real quick in a matter of hours. I've seen that one diagnosed in a matter of minutes by doctors adding two and two with the right questions. A UTI and a stone would usually go hand in hand. Some ER doctors are gold and some need to find employment away from patient contact and out of the medical profession completely.
the article is horribly written. It doesn’t sound like malpractice or mistake. It sounds more like a delay in treatment and the situation worsen that ended in her losing her limbs
Blood test would have been a culture,,usually they do three in a row and you have to wait for the bacteria to grow. Usually gram negative if assoicated with urinary tract infection.
She is suing? I am SHOCKED!
She may or may not have had bad treatment. She may not have been in septic shock when they saw her but could have been 5 hours later.
I am always surprised that kidney stone patients get sent home and told to drink fluid and wait for the stone to pass. And if you go in an ER with a kidney infection, unless you have very high fever, are dehydrated and look septic, you won’t be admitted.
It is damned hard to get put in a hospital..a pity.
Good idea! I would have wrote it on every body part, other than the one they were supposed to operate on! :)
That was not my experience working in a hospital. Kidney stones got the radiological exam and the patient stayed until the stone passed, whether on its own or surgically.
Agreed. I don't know why but lots of news stories written by TV reporters really suck. Maybe the TV stations don't pay very much and they are left with the dregs of the journalism school graduates.
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