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Medical Errors/released after eye surgery still under anesthesia

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QUESTION: The hospital released me in the care of my wife while I was still unconscious from the outpatient surgery. The Hospital did not admit they did wrong and would not reduce their facility charges of over a thousand dollars.

Where and what can I do to reduce the charges in order to get compensated for their error.

I live in Las Vegas, NV. My wife had no idea I was still unconscious and has no medical training. Release time was close to midnight. I Gained faculty at 5 AM the next morning.

Thank you

ANSWER: Abe,
Can you give me a few more details, such as what type of surgery did you have; was it an emergency procedure, being that you were released around midnight? Also, how do you know for sure that you were unconscious? I am asking these questions not for you to become defensive, but to gain further information. I will try to help as much as possible in my scope of practice, and then perhaps direct you in the right avenue. I look forward to hearing back. Thank you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: A retina Specialist attached my torn left eye retina at 7 PM.
Emergency? Maybe. My Opthamalogist (eye doctor)referred me the previous day to the retina specialist when he discovered the torn retina. The Surgeon had another surgery at 6 PM, maybe at that hour it is customary to operate?
How did I know under sedation? I don't remember being discharged. My wife saw me at 11 PM in the Hospital bent over before my being released. I had no recollection walking to my bed. My wife says she had to pull my 2 feet from the front seat into the garage floor and aided me to my bed. At night I got up to urinate and remember I was heading in different directions in my 10 steps to the toilet. At 5 AM I woke up with my senses back and realized I was in my own bed. Hope this answers your question and you are able to answer me. Thanks Abe Haya

Answer
Abe,
Thanks for replying. A torn retina is certainly a medical and visual emergency. Left untreated it can cause permanent blindness. You probably know that. I'm concerned that your wife saw you "bent over" as you said. A person who just underwent retinal surgery should not bend over, or even bend forward for a number of hours afterwards. This puts unnecessary pressure on the eye which has just been repaired. I hope you had a pressure patch on your eye.

Actually, at midnight I would think an overnight stay would have been ideal, however, insurances being what they are now are very restrictive in those things. Twenty years ago you would have been admitted overnight for observation. Not now!

Each hospital has protocol, but a general rule is that a patient has to be awake and responding verbally in order to be discharged from the recovery room. Even though you felt as though you were unconscious, you were probably awake and talking, even though you absolutely needed assistance to the bathroom or to even walk. The drugs used in surgery and afterward can affect the mind and even the memory. I agree that you should not have been discharged, the reason being the type of surgery you had. You could have inadvertently torn the repaired retinal area. However, that is always a physician's discretion.

I think your best bet would be to consult a personal injury attorney who will see you free of charge the first time. He/she will be able to tell you if you have a case, and they can obtain your hospital records with your signature. It is possible that you may be able to get a settlement. It would be up the laws in your state. I have provided you with the best advice possible within my scope of practice, considering I am not a physician, but a nurse. I do wish you well. This is the reason hospitals are often found negligent; they discharge patients too quickly. Thus, it leaves them open for many errors. I hope you'll keep me updated on how this goes.

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Patricia M

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I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY; I am a nurse. If anyone seeks a NURSE'S VIEW with an "old school" approach to patient care, I will go to great lengths to assist them. I was trained that mistakes can be avoided by a cautious approach to patient care. To prevent any errors the patient must come first. I CANNOT provide legal advice, but if I cannot guide a client in the right direction I will search out an answer for them. I have a strong background in pharmacology along with a working knowledge of hospitals,namely medical surgical units, including cardiac units; also outpatient internal medicine clinics; I have maintained excellent working relationships with physicians, and this can prevent many simple errors. I have some limited experience in Nursing Homes and rehab units where, unfortunately, many medical and healthcare errors occur due to under-staffing. I own many reference books which are up-to-date on procedures, treatments and pharmaceuticals (drugs). NOTE: I do not possess any operating room experience.

Experience

As a nurse, I bring a strong background in pharmacology along with a working knowledge of hospitals, medical surgical units, including telemetry and cardiac units; some limited experience in Nursing Facilities. I possess an "old school" approach to patient care, in that mistakes are avoided by careful planning, and putting your patient first. I own many reference books which are up-to-date on procedures, treatments and pharmaceuticals (drugs).

Education/Credentials
Nursing school with diploma; Dean's List in college. 20-plus years nursing in general hospitals, med/surgical, cardiology; also nursing facilities, home health and rehabilitation centers. Additional continuing ed courses in Pharmacology. In recent years employed by psychologists to assist in preparation of Psychological Profiles for Social Security Disability Determination.

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Dean's List in college. Haven taken many continuing education classes specializing in cardiac and respiratory care as well as pharmacology.

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