Nurses left patient in urine-soaked bedsheets and called her "lazy" after botched surgery

Josue Torres

A woman who suffered life-changing injuries as a result of a botched hospital operation has recounted being left in urine-soaked bed sheets for days by nurses who told her she was lazy when she couldn’t get out of bed.

The woman said she thinks she would have been better cared for at a veterinary clinic than by the nurses at the hospital where she was.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon.Unsplash

The woman almost died when her doctor and other personnel failed to recognize her life-threatening injuries during surgery to remove her gall bladder.

The mother of two has been physically and emotionally traumatized by her experiences on the wards of the hospital. She is undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said she’s having a lot of nightmares and flashbacks, and she “keeps seeing” the doctor that treated her wherever she goes.

The former patient was hospitalized last year for emergency gallbladder removal surgery.

The doctor that treated her caused significant damage to her liver and links to her intestines during surgery. He ended up removing not just the gall bladder but also the whole bile duct.

Although bile duct damage is a known complication in 1% of gall bladder procedures, the doctor also harmed three other patients in just a couple of days.

Red flags were not seen until the patients were moved to another hospital for life-saving surgery.

The woman started to worsen within days of being brought to the ward after her surgery, being extremely ill and unable to walk.

She couldn’t get out of bed, and the nurses told her, “You’re just being lazy,” she recalls.

“They were very terrifying to me,” she added. “I was sitting in my own pee for days at a time”

The woman explained that the nurses weren’t assisting her in being cleaned, they even wrote in her notes that she refused to get washed.

They left her table out of arm’s reach even though they knew she couldn’t get out of bed. She couldn’t find her phone and water.

She recounted how a cleaner at the hospital helped her in getting a drink on one occasion. She says that it was the only single act of compassion that she received during her whole stay at the hospital.

The lady informed a doctor that one of her drains had not been emptied during the night after one of them burst and one of the nurses subsequently accused her of [snitching] on her. The woman and her husband filed a formal complaint and they never saw the nurse again.

One of the nurses that called her lazy was forced to apologize to her at her bedside, however, the nurse only did it after the woman was being transferred to the other hospital.

She believes that at this point, they’d realized how ill she was and how much they’d missed.

Attention was finally brought when the woman’s sister-in-law, a palliative care nurse, visited her and saw how alarmingly ill she was.

Her sister-in-law insisted on getting a doctor, and an MRI scan was arranged quickly, revealing that the woman had sustained severe injuries.

She was transferred to the other hospital as an emergency; there, surgeons worked for more than 11 hours to fix the damage and save her life.

To remove the 4.5 liters of corrosive bile that had accumulated in her abdomen, doctors had to use 21 liters of saline.

The woman complimented the care of the nurses at the other hospital, mentioning that her encounter with every single nurse there felt like “they were meant to be a nurse.”

While the repair operation has left her in better shape than the other patients, she still needs to get more surgeries.

She has difficulty walking and lifting anything. She also became incontinent and is now always weak.

She says she can no longer do everything that a normal person does, her husband needs to assist her even with washing her hair.

She feels like a burden on everyone around her, mentioning that this incident destroyed her life.

The hospital has apologized to the woman, in a statement they said they’re investigating the case.

The doctor is also under investigation by the medical board, however, he’s still practicing under supervision.

Comments / 54

Published by

Award-winning communications strategist. Join me in taking a closer look at meaningful and everyday topics.

San Francisco, CA

More from Josue Torres

Comments / 0