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Old 02-24-2005, 05:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Medical Malpractice

On May 7, 2001, my mother, Eileen Bialek {age 72} underwent elective surgery for correction of a prolapsed uterus and cystocle. The surgeon in the department of Urology at a major medical facility in Cleveland agreed to perform an open laparotomy with a uterine suspension. Eileenís past medical history included colon resection for bowel cancer 18 years prior. The surgeon was aware that she had previous abdominal surgery but decided that open laparotomy was the procedure of choice and did not discourage Eileen from this type of surgery despite the risk of complications. He did not offer her a second opinion. No prior medical conditions pertinent to this surgery were present. With the exception of symptoms of urgency and a visually prolapsed uterus, Eileen had no other medical problems. She was active in her church and community as well as taking care of her spouse.
Postoperative course initially was normal until discharge when she started to vomit bile and was readmitted 18 hours post discharge. The surgeon evaluated Eileen and suspected she developed a postoperative ileus. His initial treatment consisted of telling her daughter to " give her a milkshake" to encourage her bowel to move. She did indeed follow the surgeon's advice; however, Eileenís condition continued to deteriorate. Conservative treatment over the following two weeks consisted of clear liquids and nothing by mouth. Total parenteral nutrition {TPN} was then initiated and finally bowel decompression via nasogastric tube. Preliminary x-rays were done but results were not followed up on.

At two weeks postop a computed tomography {CT} scan was done which revealed a blockage in the small bowel. The surgeon advised Eileen of the need to return to surgery because he suspected that an adhesion was causing the blockage and it needed to be released. Eileen consented to the surgery and requested that her previous surgeon {bowel cancer} be in attendance. The current surgeon said he was out of town and he was asking another colorectal surgeon to be on hand.

Eileen was taken to surgery May 17, 2001. After 5.5 hrs of surgery the surgeon informed her daughter that he found a portion of the small bowel had twisted and he had to resect a portion of it. Because there were enterotomies, a jejunostomy was placed along with two mucous fistuals. Blood loss required transfusion of six units of blood during surgery. Eileen was transferred to the surgical intensive care where she required full fluid resuscitation and mechanical ventilation for two weeks. She sustained atrial fibrillation, required seventeen units of blood and clotting factors secondary to developing large retroperitonal hematoma. She remained in the ICU for 4 weeks and transferred to the floor for two more weeks at which time she was admitted to a long term acute care hospital. Before discharge the resident informed her that she had a rectal laceration and would need to have that repaired when her jejunostomy would be reversed in one year. She remained at the acute care hospital for 4 weeks then transferred to a nursing home to continue her recovery. Eileen was so debilitated from the surgery she required daily physical and occupational therapy.

During this entire time she experienced daily nausea and vomiting. Physicians at two different hospitals were consulted and determined that gallstones in the common bile duct were causing her symptoms along with elevated liver function. Eileen underwent repeated endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatopography {ERCP} over the next several months as no surgeon would remove her gallbladder for risk of causing more bleeding and complications.

Eileen had two episodes of sepsis treated by antibiotics during several readmits to the original surgical facility.

Finally in December of 2002, she became acutely septic and unresponsive and was transferred to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. The hospital surgeon determined that removing her gallbladder was probably her only chance to survive. She was placed on full life support, aggressive antibiotic management, vasopressor agents and taken to surgery. The surgeon successfully removed the gallbladder and informed the family that her organs were stuck together like cement. He gave no guarantees but stated that with antibiotics and life support she may be able to survive but with an arduous recovery. The bilirubin continued to rise; she was severely jaundiced and no longer responded to increase vasopressors or dialysis. Eileen Bialek expired on January 8, 2002. The postmortem documents indicated that she died of organ failure secondary to sepsis. The origin of the infection was vancomycin resistant enterococci {VRE} in the common bile duct probably secondary to the ERCP or the residual retroperitoneal hematoma.

I believe she was deceived by her surgeon in terms of the full disclosure of the risks involved in this kind of surgery. Anyone who knew her would testify that she was not one to take un-necessary risks. Accordingly, I am asking Congress to pass "Do No Harm" legislation requiring a neutral third party to be present during all pre-surgical consultations.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, this is one issue where my conservative fellows and I disagree. It's absolutley insane and immoral for the government to set a cap on pain and suffering awards. The latest proposal here is like 250,000. It's disgusting
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your story made me cringe just reading it. "Do Not Harm" sounds like a damn good idea. Whether the bill gets considered or not your story has reinforced my opinion to get second and third opinions on any major surgery considerations.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wow that's terrible...

i think the surgeon should have at least CONSULTED Eileen's previous surgeon. looks like a lot of oversights took place that led to a tragic outcome. sorry for your loss. your idea to introduce legislation is a sound one. maybe it will help prevent similar, preventable problems from occurring.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Something just ain't adding up here.

I apologize, up front, if I am wrong, but is this really about your mother or is it part of an email campaign regarding someone else?

I would refer to my mother, as my mother. Also, I would say she "passed away" rather than "expired". This looks like it was written by someone that knows medical terminology intimately.

My mother is dealing with cancer, so I don't feel like I am being heartless here. I just read this and question marks pop up in my head. (I'm also thinking shennanigans on the other thread too).

Is this really about your own mother?

If so, why the cold, non-emotional language? This looks more like a legal brief than a plea for help--usually pleas appeal to the emotional side of people--this one is almost too cold to have the appropriate emotional effect.
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I request you tell me that this is truly your mothers story.......

If you do not reply I will consider this as stated above, and it will be closed.
You have 24 hrs.
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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whether it's Joe's mother or not, the point remains the same. Capping liability for ALL medical lawsuits is foolish. If the doctor genuinely screwed up and hurt someone for life, then the doctor should pay, and it should hurt a lot.
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The problem with this thread is we're not able to be certain of the validity of the original post, itself. Therefore, if it Isn't authentic - then anyone could have written it for the reason to promote the success of the bill in congress or another reason unseen.

What had happened in the original post to the woman could be theoretical complications based on whatever surgery is being performed. A med student could have written it for all we know.
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia620
The problem with this thread is we're not able to be certain of the validity of the original post, itself. Therefore, if it Isn't authentic - then anyone could have written it for the reason to promote the success of the bill in congress or another reason unseen.

What had happened in the original post to the woman could be theoretical complications based on whatever surgery is being performed. A med student could have written it for all we know.

I agree that we can't know the veracity of this claim. Adding a "what if" to the beginning of the initial post would have made life so much simpler.

But the concept is there, and we all know that there are docs out there who make BIG fuckups, and there's now an attempt to limit their responsibility for those fuckups.


If you want a REAL story, try this one on for size. This one happened to a friend of mine's mother. She went in with toxic shock syndrome that was misdiagnosed as a kidney stone after the attending decided to diagnose without running any tests. She sat in the hospital for 20 hours waiting to be looked at again, by which point she was nearly dead. They did emergency surgery and pulled 2.5 cups of pus out of her abdomen. She spent the next 3 weeks in the hospital recovering from almost being killed by a condition that, had it been diagnosed properly, would have been cleared up with antibiotics.

So because a doctor decided he was too busy to actually do his job, my friend's mother nearly died. And now Bush is telling me that these guys should have the government bail them out by limiting their liability?


(edit)

here's somethign interesting. Run a search for Eileen Bialek on google. This guy's posting it to every msg board he can find. Make of that what you will.

Last edited by shakran; 02-24-2005 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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good catch shakran.....

I read through the whole list (man, he is hitting every board under the sun) and even his responses are canned. Someone says the whole "I'm sorry for your loss" stuff and his response is the same every time--something about have a third-party ombudsman.

If this story is even remotely true, he is shooting himself in the foot by spamming like this.

We seem to be the only site that has noticed, though.....

Edit: On one forum, we nobody replied, he went ahead and added the canned response....this is getting funny.

To truly get the depth of this spam.....make sure you view all results by Google (click on the "you can repeat the search with the omitted results included" part at the bottom), that's when you realize how many different places this guy is doing this.

Last edited by KMA-628; 02-24-2005 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"Yeah, this is one issue where my conservative fellows and I disagree. It's absolutley insane and immoral for the government to set a cap on pain and suffering awards. The latest proposal here is like 250,000. It's disgusting"

What's disgusting is the millions of dollars repeatedly handed to those who have suffered what would amount to a toothache. These ridiculously exhorbatant lawsuits, which do nothing but increase insurance premiums, undermine professional opinion, and ultimately increase costs for all of you. If there is blatent medical malpractice, what would be more satisfying..

a. you get 250k, and the doctor never practices again or
b. you get 5 trillioin, and every patient that walks in an office with acid reflux (see previous thread) is given an CT, MRI, colonoscopy, and every other unnesecarry exam to avoid personal responsibility for what would otherwise be a perfectly reasonable medical exam based on the symptoms that would cost thousands less.

250 thousand is plenty for pain and suffering....and Eileen is not this persons mother.

"The surgeon was aware that she had previous abdominal surgery but decided that open laparotomy was the procedure of choice and did not discourage Eileen from this type of surgery despite the risk of complications."

Being that Eileen wasn't a risk taker, i'm sure she read the federally approved consent form detailing the risk of complications. You know, the one she signed prior to the procedure.

...and Shakran, you aren't "diagnosed" without any tests. You have medical opinions based on symptoms, which are subjective and not always right on. Your friends mom is still alive right? Sounds like they did their job. You think she deserves more than 250,000 dollars for that night. You people have too much animosity for those that save your lives day in and day out.
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This has run its course...
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