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NYC Woman Loses Hands, Feet In Hospital 'Mistake'
WCBS TV (Via Drudge) ^ | Nov. 21, 2008 | John Slattery

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.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: baddoctors; horriblehospital; medicalmalpractice; suebabysue
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This obviously is a real tragedy, but I am curious about the comment "a known propensity for infection".

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.

1 posted on 11/21/2008 4:27:58 PM PST by Michael.SF.
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To: Michael.SF.

bttt


2 posted on 11/21/2008 4:30:38 PM PST by ConservativeMan55 (Cal Thomas.. just another has been with an opinion and an a$$hole...)
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To: Michael.SF.

“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,”

Huh?


3 posted on 11/21/2008 4:31:06 PM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


4 posted on 11/21/2008 4:31:29 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (If Islam conquers the world, the Earth will be at peace because the human race will be killed off.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Michael.SF.

Obama’s Fault.


6 posted on 11/21/2008 4:32:17 PM PST by Old Sarge (For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American)
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To: dsc
She certainly hired a very eloquent attorney didn't she?
7 posted on 11/21/2008 4:33:30 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: Michael.SF.

MRSA?


8 posted on 11/21/2008 4:33:32 PM PST by Inspectorette
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To: neverdem

ping


9 posted on 11/21/2008 4:34:23 PM PST by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
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To: Michael.SF.

That article is written awful. Hard to understand it.


10 posted on 11/21/2008 4:34:43 PM PST by Spunky ((You are free to make choices, but not free from the consequences))
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To: Morgana

See George C. Scott in the movie “The Hospital.”


11 posted on 11/21/2008 4:34:47 PM PST by RandyGH (Democrats--So far left they've left America)
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To: Clintonfatigued
That was my first thought as well.

But there are still questions to be answered that are not covered in this short article.

12 posted on 11/21/2008 4:35:35 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: Michael.SF.

“She certainly hired a very eloquent attorney didn’t she?”

A regular Oliver Wendell Gump.


13 posted on 11/21/2008 4:35:42 PM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
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To: Inspectorette

MRSA - my thoughts also.


14 posted on 11/21/2008 4:36:01 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


15 posted on 11/21/2008 4:36:30 PM PST by wastedyears (Every FReeper is on Obama's Black List. He will try to have us all "taken care of." Mark my words)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Not necessarily. I don't think we're hearing the whole story here - this appears to be the plaintiff's lawyer's version and they do sometimes commit sins of omission . . . .

Lots of possible factors other than malpractice, but probably will have to be sorted out by a judge and/or a jury.

16 posted on 11/21/2008 4:37:52 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


17 posted on 11/21/2008 4:38:47 PM PST by Canedawg (The media is a ass, a idiot.," said Mr. Bumble.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

I agree.


18 posted on 11/21/2008 4:39:19 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: wastedyears
This woman should get at least $50,000,000, if not $75,000,000.

Paging Henry Paulson.......bailout in aisle 3.

19 posted on 11/21/2008 4:40:03 PM PST by ninonitti
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


20 posted on 11/21/2008 4:40:54 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Michael.SF.

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?


21 posted on 11/21/2008 4:41:14 PM PST by the Real fifi
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


22 posted on 11/21/2008 4:41:51 PM PST by ETL (Smoking gun evidence on ALL the ObamaRat-commie connections at my newly revised FR Home/About page)
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To: Canedawg
They had less chance of picking that up if they didnt give her a blood test, as the article indicates

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.

23 posted on 11/21/2008 4:41:56 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: ninonitti

I imagine you would be quite pissed off if doctors hacked off your extremities.


24 posted on 11/21/2008 4:42:21 PM PST by wastedyears (Every FReeper is on Obama's Black List. He will try to have us all "taken care of." Mark my words)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


25 posted on 11/21/2008 4:42:42 PM PST by kaylar
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To: Canedawg

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.


26 posted on 11/21/2008 4:42:56 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


27 posted on 11/21/2008 4:43:19 PM PST by justiceseeker93
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To: AnAmericanMother

“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.


28 posted on 11/21/2008 4:44:13 PM PST by Canedawg (The media is a ass, a idiot.," said Mr. Bumble.)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


29 posted on 11/21/2008 4:45:22 PM PST by Dysart (Don't forget your change, America)
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To: Michael.SF.

Talk about life handing you a crap sandwich!


30 posted on 11/21/2008 4:46:17 PM PST by doc1019 (We are now an Obamanation. Palin 2012)
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To: ETL
Before I had hand surgery, I wrote NO! in big red letters on my good hand. My surgeon was very amused.

He's a good guy and did a good job.

31 posted on 11/21/2008 4:47:00 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Inspectorette
MRSA?

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?

32 posted on 11/21/2008 4:48:05 PM PST by BuckyKat
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To: justiceseeker93
a plaintiff’s malpractice attorney, who obviously knows that getting his name in the news will help his practice

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.

33 posted on 11/21/2008 4:48:15 PM PST by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: Michael.SF.; cajungirl

“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.


34 posted on 11/21/2008 4:48:37 PM PST by Canedawg (The media is a ass, a idiot.," said Mr. Bumble.)
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To: cajungirl

That’s it - DIC, right? Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy?


35 posted on 11/21/2008 4:49:05 PM PST by BuckyKat
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To: Canedawg
Case like this will probably never make it to a jury.

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.

36 posted on 11/21/2008 4:50:19 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: neverdem

Very sad story.....


37 posted on 11/21/2008 4:51:48 PM PST by BossLady (Ok Everybody......Get Ready For ......'THE MOOD RING PRESIDENCY'......)
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To: cajungirl

What a horribly written article by John Slattery, Emmy-award winning ? journalist. The story is unclear, one-sided and just poorly unfolded.


38 posted on 11/21/2008 4:52:00 PM PST by proud2beconservativeinNJ ("In God We Trust")
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To: AnAmericanMother

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.


39 posted on 11/21/2008 4:54:20 PM PST by Canedawg (The media is a ass, a idiot.," said Mr. Bumble.)
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To: BuckyKat

Right,,associated with spetic shock,,an awful thing to see.


40 posted on 11/21/2008 4:54:55 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


41 posted on 11/21/2008 4:56:00 PM PST by FormerACLUmember (When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.)
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To: cajungirl
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.

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.

42 posted on 11/21/2008 4:56:15 PM PST by cva66snipe ($.01 The current difference between the DEM's and GOP as well as their combined worth to this nation)
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To: Spunky

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


43 posted on 11/21/2008 4:56:47 PM PST by 4rcane
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To: Canedawg

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.


44 posted on 11/21/2008 4:56:52 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Michael.SF.

She is suing? I am SHOCKED!


45 posted on 11/21/2008 4:57:07 PM PST by TommyDale (I) (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: cva66snipe

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.


46 posted on 11/21/2008 4:59:16 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
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To: Michael.SF.
Depending where a ‘kidney’ stone is located, it can cause urinary obstruction, and as a consequence the patient can develop obstructive urosepsis. Most kidney stones don't do this, but when you put your life in the hands of a physician you aren't there for the ‘easy’ diagnosis. You put your trust in their ability to not miss the more difficult diagnosis that could have devastating consequences. To be a good doc one must maintain a high degree of clinical suspicion, and have broad knowledge of the spectrum of diagnoses that can cause similar symptoms. Urinary obstruction should have been considered. In my view, even if the emergency room doc thought that the patient had a simple uncomplicated kidney stone the patient should nonetheless have been instructed what to look for and to return immediately for evaluation and care if she developed progressive symptoms.
47 posted on 11/21/2008 5:01:36 PM PST by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: AnAmericanMother
Before I had hand surgery, I wrote NO! in big red letters on my good hand.

Good idea! I would have wrote it on every body part, other than the one they were supposed to operate on! :)

48 posted on 11/21/2008 5:01:36 PM PST by ETL (Smoking gun evidence on ALL the ObamaRat-commie connections at my newly revised FR Home/About page)
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To: cajungirl

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.


49 posted on 11/21/2008 5:01:55 PM PST by ican'tbelieveit ((Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team# 36120), KW:Folding))
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To: Spunky
That article is written awful. Hard to understand it.

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.

50 posted on 11/21/2008 5:05:19 PM PST by upchuck (Bumper sticker on my pickup: I'm a fierce global warmer.)
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