Woman Sues Hospital After Arms And Legs Amputated, Amputation ‘Entirely Avoidable’

A Maryland woman is suing John Hopkins Health System after all her arms and legs were amputated in an “entirely avoidable” surgery. The lawsuit was filed last week in the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

The Washington Post reports that 59-year-old Joyce Ferguson is seeking unspecified damages from the John Hopkins Health System after a tragedy that occurred in the Howard County General Hospital emergency room. The Howard County General Hospital is owned by John Hopkins Health Systems; therefore, Ferguson is suing the health system for the emergency room failures.

The Daily Record report indicates that in March of 2012, Joyce went into the Howard County emergency room on three separate occasions. Each time that Joyce went into the emergency room she told the nurses her pain was “a 10-out-of-10” in her abdomen. However, each time the tests came back negative and doctors discharged her. On the third visit, after Joyce had been cleared and was waiting to be discharged, she was found “lying on a stretcher, incoherent and cold to the touch.”

After the doctors found her in this state, she was finally admitted to the hospital. Upon further review, Joyce was suffering from “degrading uterine tissue” which caused an infection. The infection, undiagnosed, eventually led to sepsis and organ failure. Though Joyce was able to live through the ordeal, the “lack of blood flow to her extremities while she was sick caused gangrene.”

Following the gangrene, doctors were forced to amputate Ferguson’s legs just above the knee and her arms below the elbows. Joyce Ferguson’s lawyer, Haward A. Janet, claims that the amputation was “entirely avoidable” if the doctors would have properly diagnosed Ferguson on her first or second visit.

“In our view, this case is an example of a Tragedy, with a capital ‘T,’ that was entirely avoidable.”

The case focuses on the failure of doctors to thoroughly assess the situation when Ferguson presented with undiagnosed abdominal pain. The lawyers claim doctors at Howard County General failed to order a complete pelvic examination. They also never were able to explain “the abnormal finding of a large fluid collection” observed in ultrasounds performed at the hospital and by Ferguson’s private gynecologist. Instead of offering additional testing, each time Ferguson was discharged without a diagnosis.

This isn’t the first time John Hopkins has been at the center of a lawsuit. John Hopkins Hospital was ordered to pay $190 million after gynecologist Dr. Nikita Levy took secret videos and photos of more than 8,000 women according to a previous report by Inquisitr.

Do you think the hospital should be held liable for the amputation if it is proven to be avoidable?