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TLTwister77

Is this worth a lawyer?

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I recently had Gastric Bypass surgery. On the day that I was set to go home I was paid a visit by the Cheif Nursing Officer and the head of Infectious Diseases, as well as my doctor, where they informed me that the tools that were used in the operating room during my surgery were not sanitized correctly, they are supposed to go through two sets of sterilization and they only went through one thus putting me at risk of exposure to different diseases, such as HIV and Hep C. They took my blood while I was there at the hospital and then given prescriptions for medications to potentially fight off HIV if I was in fact infected. These medicines make me absolutely sick to my stomach, on top of already having to deal with recuperating from surgery I have to deal with being sick every day, all day. They admitted their wrong doing and that they would cover the cost of the medications, but my insurance covers it anyways. I just don't feel that it's fair that I have to be sick every day for the next month while I take these pills to fight off something they may have given to me. And the fact that I won't know for a long time whether or not they even did. Do I have options?

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I encourage you to consult a medical malpractice attorney and review your options. I think you will find that being sick for a month isn't going to be very attractive for an attorney but you have nothing to lose by asking.

 

At the very least, the attorney might be able to get the records and confirm what happened before the paper trail disappears and then put things on hold to see how you fare medically.

 

Just understand that you don't get any money for something that doesn't happen.

 

You didn't reveal your state. Most states have a year or two deadline for a medical malpractice lawsuit so you have some time to make sure you're OK.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, TLTwister77 said:

thus putting me at risk of exposure to different diseases, such as HIV and Hep C.

 

Notwithstanding that the tools were "supposed to go through two sets of sterilization [but] only went through one," I suspect this risk is incredibly small.  Did they explain anything along these lines to you?

 

 

57 minutes ago, TLTwister77 said:

I just don't feel that it's fair that I have to be sick every day for the next month while I take these pills to fight off something they may have given to me. And the fact that I won't know for a long time whether or not they even did.

 

Frankly, it strikes me as extremely odd -- and, indeed, a gross overreaction -- that they would specifically identify HIV as a potential risk and give you what sounds like very strong medication "to potentially fight off HIV").  Were the tools used previously on a patient with HIV (or Hep C)?  In any event, "fair" doesn't have anything to do with anything.

 

 

1 hour ago, TLTwister77 said:

Do I have options?

 

Given where you've posted this, I assume the question you intended to ask was whether you have a potentially valid legal malpractice claim.  You do, but it's premature at this point.  If you haven't already done so, I think you need to discuss why these folks are particularly focused on HIV and Hep C and why the doctor is taking such an aggressive approach to treatment.

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I was told that the risk was small, yes, but the risk was still there and that they are following protocol when something like this happens. As far as your comment about a gross overreaction, they did specifically identify HIV and Hep C hence the reason why I was visited by the Head of Infectious Diseases. I can give you the names of the drugs that they are having me take as I feel that you may think I am not understanding what it is that I am taking. And yes, I want to know if this is something that I should pursue legally, and quite frankly I think fairness has a lot to do with it. I was a patient under their care and they neglected to do their jobs appropriately and putting me at risk of a potential life threatening disease, both of which I would have for the rest of my life if I am infected due to their negligence. 

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1 hour ago, TLTwister77 said:

I feel that you may think I am not understanding what it is that I am taking.

 

This is an odd comment.  I'm not sure why you have a "feeling" about what I "may think," but I have no reason to think you are "not understanding what [drugs you are] taking."

 

As I wrote previously, what I find odd is why the doctors are focused on two very specific viruses (as opposed to the risk of infection in general) and why, despite having identified the two very specific viruses, they are (apparently) treating you for only one of them.  I therefore wonder if there are things you haven't told us or that the doctors haven't told you (hence my question about whether the tools were used previously on a patient with HIV and/or Hep C).

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It is not an odd comment, I feel as though you are attacking me in regards to my knowledge of the situation. I know what the doctors have told me. Which is what I have stated. I have not left anything out. I was not told whether or not a patient prior to me had either HIV or Hep C. What I do know is that I have been put on these drugs that make me sick to my stomach and now I have to sit and wait to find out whether or not I contracted either of these diseases because someone in their hospital did not clean the equipment the way it should have been cleaned. Are my chances low, of course they are, I know that the chance of me getting infected by HIV is very slim. But I still have to go through the nastiness of these pills and the blood tests and the not really knowing. 

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Hi @TLTwister77

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting. So sorry to hear about the situation with your surgery, that sounds incredibly upsetting and stressful. As adjusterjack mentioned, you may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your case to determine your chance of success. The hospital admits they have acted below their standard of care by failing to adequately sterilize instruments. However, the case may be premature until you determine the extent of the damage caused by the error.

 

To get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, click here, or you can use the FindLaw Lawyer Directory to find qualified medical malpractice attorneys near you.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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2 hours ago, TLTwister77 said:

I feel as though you are attacking me

 

Attacking?  Good grief....

 

 

2 hours ago, TLTwister77 said:

I know what the doctors have told me. Which is what I have stated. I have not left anything out.

 

Ok, so maybe there's something the doctors haven't told you.  Do you feel that is an "attack" against you?

 

 

2 hours ago, TLTwister77 said:

I was not told whether or not a patient prior to me had either HIV or Hep C.

 

If I were you, I would ask why they seem to be focused on these two things -- apparently to the exclusion of anything else.

 

 

2 hours ago, TLTwister77 said:

Are my chances low, of course they are, I know that the chance of me getting infected by HIV is very slim. But I still have to go through the nastiness of these pills and the blood tests and the not really knowing.

 

That they seem to be focusing on HIV -- apparently to the exclusion of everything else -- suggests to me that the doctors have reason to believe there is some sort of heightened risk -- beyond what might exist solely because of a random instance of only sterilizing the instruments once.  Are you following me?

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This is standard protocol for any type of exposure risk. It is not that the doctors think HIV is likely, but it is one of the few types of diseases which can be prevented this way. Post-exposure prophylaxis is normal after an exposure. This is not generally done for HCV, though it is one of the viruses that would be screened for in the future. You'll have to ask someone with more medical experience than I why this is, I just know it is standard protocol. Nothing suspicious. There are undoubtedly other diseases being screened for as well, but most others would manifest in an obvious way, while those two would not.

 

That said, legally, if you do not develop any long term illnesses or complications it is very unlikely that a malpractice claim would amount to much. It may not even be the anti-virals making you feel ill. It could be a side effect from the surgery or pain meds. You can talk to an attorney, if you still feel there is a need to do so.

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