Parkland Hospital Patient has Leg Amputated Following Resident Surgeon’s Error

Parkland Memorial Hospital <"">allegedly harms some two patients daily—and harms them seriously—said the Dallas News. One patient in particular was admitted to Parkland Memorial as a privately insured patient with arthritis in her knee. She was left a penniless amputee who endured 24 surgeries in 16 months and an overwhelming $1 million in Medicaid bills, said the Dallas News.

“I went from being a person who could pay all my bills to nothing,” said Jessie Mae Ned, a former Parkland employee. “All I do is beg,” quoted the Dallas News.

Part of the issue, said The Dallas News, involves a negative impact on patient safety when doctors are being trained at public teaching hospitals, such as Parkland where residence surgeons tend to receive more latitude, especially in post-op care, said The Dallas News. Often, at these facilities, students seeking medical degrees are assigned key aspects of care and not always with appropriate supervision, said the Dallas News.

In Ned’s case, her injuries were sustained during an operation that was conducted by a resident trainee, with damage becoming life-threatening after a three-day period in which she was never seen by an on-staff physician, said The Dallas Morning News, which obtained records rife with problems, including that it is often difficult who, in fact, cared for Ned.

As an example, said The Dallas Morning News, Ned’s attending physician was listed as supervising one surgery at a time; his calendar indicated he was vacationing in Africa.

“We harm two patients a day in a significant way,” said the report by Parkland’s patient safety officer, Dr. Angelique Ramirez, quoted The Dallas News. The report included patient information from October 2008 through December 2009 who suffered “prolongation of hospital stay, need for ICU care, permanent harm, or death,” said the report. As a matter-of-fact, citing one three-month period, the vast majority—74 percent—of these outcomes were described on the report as “potentially preventable.”

The report indicated that the issues typically originated from technical competence issues, infection prevention problems, or challenges in the planning of care; the report was presented earlier this year to the board at Parkland, noted The Dallas News.

“In comparison to the national database, Parkland performs a little worse than average across all dimensions,” the Ramirez report says. “For the first time, formal action plans are being created to try to bring about meaningful change in these results.”

Ned has since lost her job and is living on Social Security disability benefits and food stamps; only a small portion of her medical bills have been paid by Medicaid said The Dallas News. The hospital has not discussed compensation and Ned said that lawyers are reluctant to take her case saying that, “They said Parkland keeps them tied up in litigation too long,” quoted The Dallas News. “Do they have the right to mistreat their patients and get away with it?” Ned asked. “I’d like to know the answer to that,” reported The Dallas News.

Help filing claims and other legal assistance for the victims of medical practice, such as that which allegedly occurred at Parkland Hospital is available <"">

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