J.’s routine spleen removal surgery was completed without incident. After recovery, she left the hospital relieved, believing her medical woes had been taken care of. Years later, however, a preventable infection developed which would change J.’s life forever.
One day, J. noticed lacerations on her hands and feet, which began to spread all over her limbs. As it turns out, she had contracted an infection that was destroying her arms and legs. After rushing to the hospital for treatment, it was revealed that she was supposed to have received a vaccine within 5 years of her spleen removal. It is common knowledge in the medical field that spleen removal decreases patients’ ability to fight various infections. The doctors who performed the initial surgery failed to notify her of this critical aspect of post-operative care.
What followed were years of needless agony that lead to numerous operations and amputated fingers, toes, and feet.
“Every step is painful. It feels like walking on sharp rocks,” she said. “It’s really hard. I feel helpless and useless.”
California’s outdated cap on compensation for the lost quality of life caused by medical negligence means that patients like J. can receive no more than $250,000 for enduring years of pain, suffering and heartache.