Woman Becomes Quadruple Amputee After Giving Birth

A Sanford mother says she will never be able to hold her newborn because an Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and, she claims, the hospital refuses to explain why they left her as a multiple amputee.

The woman filed a complaint against Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, she said, because they won’t tell her exactly what happened. The hospital maintains the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients’ rights.

Claudia Mejia gave birth eight and a half months ago at Orlando Regional South Seminole. She was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando where her arms and legs were amputated. She was told she had streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria, and toxic shock syndrome, but no further explanation was given.

The hospital, in a letter, wrote that if she wanted to find out exactly what happened, she would have to sue them.

“I want to know what happened. I went to deliver my baby and I came out like this,” Mejia said.

The hospital’s lawyers wrote back, “Ms. Mejia’s request may require legal resolution.” In other words, according to their interpretation of the law, Mejia has to sue them to get information about herself.

That’s the sticking point, the interpretation of the Patients Right To Know act, a constitutional amendment Florida voters passed a little more than a year ago.



  1. Jeff says:

    This is an extremely inflammatory article.
    She knew after her child was born the she had this disease.
    She was given a choice to either let the disease run its course and die or let the hospital remove her arms and legs, she chose to have the amputation.

    What she is trying to sue for is to find out if any other patients on her floor had this disease as well. Which really does not mean anything because most people carry these types of bacteria on their body anyhow…

    She is an unfortunate victim of this disease, but she it is not like the hospital is trying to hide anything from her…

  2. Ascii King says:

    My wife is a nurse and she says never go into a hospital without someone to stay with you. This is more common than you’d think.

  3. Dallas says:

    #1 . Thanks for the contribution that makes sense. This is one bizarre case that makes for rhetoric editorials.

  4. Smartalix says:

    1,

    The fact remains that the woman entered the hospital, contracted this infection, lost her limbs, and can’t get answers as to why from the hospital.

    What if poor procedure in the hospital contributed to or even caused the infection?

  5. Joey says:

    They took an x-ray and saw she had two arms and two legs inside her abdomen. Not realizing she was pregnant, doctors believed she had eaten her own limbs. They promptly amputated what they believed to be false limbs, and prescribed a strong laxative. Doctors are now waiting for her to shit out her limbs so that they can be properly reattached.

  6. Greg Allen says:

    If the “tort reform” bunch got their way, she’d get something like a 100 grand for this malpractice.

    I used to actually kind of be a tort-reform guy myself until I lived in countries that don’t recognize civil liability — THOSE COUNTRIES SUCK!

    If you get screwed by some doctor or some company, IT’S YOUR OWN BAD LUCK… you should have been more careful!

    I have never sued anyone nor do I intend to, but gazillion dollar lawsuits are the only way to get some corporations to do the right thing.

  7. tallwookie says:

    #5 – OMFGROFLWTFBBQ

    that was hella funny.

    PS: This should be a warning to mexicans to stay away from canada, especially when ready to give birth

  8. Jeff says:

    #4

    “The fact remains that the woman entered the hospital, contracted this infection, lost her limbs, and can’t get answers as to why from the hospital.”

    We do NOT know where she got the infection, it is possible that she contracted it from the hospital, it is also possible she already had it on her before she even went to the hospital. What the hospital is not giving her is something that according to the State of Florida, they CANNOT give her. She wants to know the records of OTHER patients to see if anyone else had contracted it at the same time. This not simply the hospital stonewalling her, they have legal obligations to their other patients.

  9. Timbo says:

    “The hospital maintains the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients’ rights.”

    My God, did she become an arm & leg donor to the other patients?

  10. Named says:

    7,
    Uh, what did Canada do?

  11. Smartalix says:

    8,

    The hospital can easily disclose infection information about the patients in the wards where the woman was kept without disclosing their names or medical records. If it turns out that there was strep going around, the hospital could be accused of not properly handling an extremely dangerous infectious condition.

  12. curmudgen says:

    Alix, all the words in your post are superfluous except one…POOR!

  13. Scott Gant says:

    You have to admit, the way the story is framed, it made it seem like this woman went into the hospital to give birth, and they instead just removed her arms and legs for no reason and are not telling her why. It’s meant to inflame the reader.

    But she WAS told why they needed to be removed. SHE made the decision to remove her arms and legs…they didn’t just remove them willy-nilly on a whim. The only thing they’re not telling her is if someone else had the same thing while she was there, in essence to see if she caught it from another patient. Though, what will she do with that info if she gets it?

    This isn’t malpractice. It’s red tape more than anything. She wants to know how she got streptococcus, that’s all. She knows she had it, The doctors told her she had it. The doctors gave her a choice, and she chose to live…because quite frankly you don’t have a lot of time to sit there and contemplate if you’re going to do the surgery or not, streptococcus moves very fast. But I suppose you can’t get in the way of people getting incensed and riled up about it. It’s the mob mentality, flying off the handle when you don’t have all the facts…or didn’t even read the original story.

  14. Gumpoobah says:

    Always get a second opinion, If this Blog was a hospital, and the headlines were the diagnosis…. we’d ALL be parapelegics, unable to use spell-check. Heck I’m half way there already.

  15. Smartalix says:

    13,

    You are correct in that it is easy to misinterpret the main thrust of the situation, but the underlying issue is still there. If you caught an infection (not a disease) that made you lose your limbs you’d be pissed if you got no cooperation from the hospital that was caring for you at the time the infection was manifested.

    As I pointed out, the hospital could give her a count of patients with the infection (or prove there was none, but if they could this wouldn’t be an issue) without disclosing patient file information or identities. The hospital is using the rules to protect themselves.

    But to simply dismiss the story just because it is inflammatory is simplistic.

  16. James Hill says:

    Assassination is a perfectly acceptable response when doctors, lawyers, and sales people… of which a hospital has all three.

  17. noname says:

    Streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria is a very fast acting infection. So fast that amputation beyond the infection front is very often the only life saving treatment. People have died the same day of being infected. Because of it’s nature of very rapid spread, It seems unlikely she would have entered the hospital with the infection.

    Hospitals are known for their lack of infection control. A good malpractice attorney should be able to unravel the facts of the case; if the hospital had an adequate policy (CDC Guidelines) of infection control and if they followed their own procedures.

  18. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #6 – If you get screwed by some doctor or some company, IT’S YOUR OWN BAD LUCK… you should have been more careful!

    That’s what Republicans and Libertarians want for the United States.

  19. Don says:

    You can’t sue another patient for giving you a disease if you are in a hospital. But you can sure as hell sue the hospital for transferring the disease between the patients.

    The hospital royally screwed up and is simply in CYA mode now. Simply following normal universal precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases would have spared the poor lady her limbs. Someone took a shortcut, didn’t properly clean something, or touched 2 patients without proper hand washing.

    The poor lady should go talk to the most prestigious law firm in Miami and sit back and watch that stupid hospital squirm.

    Don

  20. malren says:

    “That’s what Republicans and Libertarians want for the United States.”

    Utter nonsense. Libertarians are the number one advocates for CIVIL court actions taking the place of a government creating civil code or criminal prosecution.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Tort reform does NOT mean removing the ability to sue because of negligence or malpractice and anyone who claims that is simply lying or too stupid to understand what tort reform really means.

  21. emeryjay says:

    Welcome to Florida.. that wonderful place where we set prisoners on fire when we electrocute them and torture them when we give them lethal injections.

    The excuse given sounds like that — an excuse.

  22. meetsy says:

    This is what happens (the flesh eating bacteria part) when hospitals try and look like hotels…and install rugs on every floor in every room…and put in curtains and fancy chairs in the rooms (ESPECIALLY THE BIRTHING ROOMS). All of the surfaces cannot be “disinfected” with good ol’bleach or lysol. You can’t clean a rug like you can clean linoleum!!
    Plus, spots and grime and dust and GERMS can collect ..without notice…so why clean at all?
    Hospitals have become profit-centers for big corporations so at one end they try and make them look like a budget Hilton, on the other, they cut back janitors and find the cheapest nurses. I’m sure “corporate” clean is no match for what hospital clean used to mean.
    Hmm, and now there are super bugs attacking. Go figure…
    And, on top of that….we have new statutes, rules and “privacy polices” that protect the hospital. Great. Just great.

    • Julie says:

      You wanna know why hospitals are changing to be more like hotels? Because reimbursement is becoming more and more based on satisfaction scores. And your average patient is a complete moron who will complain if he didn’t get his cup of water fast enough while the nurses work on saving his roommate’s life. Or you have the drug-seekers who give negative reviews if they don’t get their narcotics when they want them, as fast as they want them, with as much of a buzz as possible.
      When people stop being complete self-entitled idiots is when things start going in the right direction again!

  23. Mr. Fusion says:

    #17,
    Streptococcus is a fairly common bacteria. Your mouth, nasal passages, and intestines are crawling with them. As for the “flesh eating” variety, it may be caused by any of several forms of strep. Not everyone is susceptible to the virulent forms of strep.

    Even improved sterile conditions might not have saved her as it appears she had little immunity against it. Her own family has as much a possibility of passing her the bacteria as any Hospital employee.

    This is a sad case and I wish she never experienced the disease. I don’t know enough to pass judgment, but I would think she has an uphill struggle to claim damages from the hospital.

  24. Smartalix says:

    24,

    The problem is that she has to obtain enough evidence to determine if there is grounds for a claim, the point of this story.

  25. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #21 “That’s what Republicans and Libertarians want for the United States.”

    Utter nonsense. Libertarians are the number one advocates for CIVIL court actions taking the place of a government creating civil code or criminal prosecution.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Tort reform does NOT mean removing the ability to sue because of negligence or malpractice and anyone who claims that is simply lying or too stupid to understand what tort reform really means.

    When the libertarians stop being an umbrella group for every nutjob that doesn’t like following the law, and starts acting like a serious political party instead an Ayn Rand fan fetish club, then I’ll take them seriously.

    In the meantime, the only clear message i have ever gotten from that party is “I got mine, fuck you” and I might be a pussy liberal in your eyes, but Libertarians do not want a social safety net, they do not want anything for society… they just want to be left alone. That’s just not good enough in my view.

  26. yomomma says:

    The disease can be transferred through direct contact with fluid from the nose and throat of an infected person, for example, through kissing, or sharing cutlery. It is also spread through direct contact with secretions from infected sores on the skin.

    Casual contact, such as shaking hands, riding on the same school bus or being in the same classroom rarely results in infection. While group A streptococcus is passed from person to person, FLESH EATING DISEASE IS NOT!!!

    In instances where serious disease develops, the presence of sore throat is very unusual.

    Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease) is very rare, I highly doubt she picked it up from home, though. Hospitals should be extremely cautious when a person comes in and is diagnosed with such a fetal disease.

    I would also want to know if other patient/s were diagnosed with this before I entered, and if so, I’d certainly make the hospital pay!!

    It would be nice to see the hospital pay (for) “an arm and a leg” for once!!!

    http://www.ocdsb.edu.on.ca/General_Info/Fact_Sheets/FED.htm

  27. Mr. Fusion says:

    #27, While you summarized the “don’t be afraid” factoid, you downplayed the critical.

    Casual contact, such as shaking hands, riding on the same school bus or being in the same classroom rarely results in infection. While group A streptococcus is passed from person to person,

    Strep is communicable. That is how infections are spread.

    FLESH EATING DISEASE IS NOT!!!

    Wrong. As a communicable disease, it is passed through human contact. This could be by casual contact, but is more likely by way of respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing.

    The important fact is that only a few people become affected by the severe effects. Most of us have an immunity that makes the bacteria less dangerous. It is inconsequential if other patients had the bacteria. As as many as 1/3 of people at any one time may carry the bacteria without even knowing. As I said earlier, even her own son or husband may have passed on the bacteria.

  28. yomomma says:

    Whoa there, Mr. Fusion…I didn’t write that article. I was simply passing on information that I had found (you did see the link, right?). Therefore, I was not downplaying anything, and I certainly never used the phrase “don’t be afraid” in my message either.

    However, I do admit that I was incorrect in “my statement” regarding how she may or may not have contracted the strep A, as I was not fully aware of how the disease process worked. I thought perhaps it was a different strain of strep A (ya know, like herpes I and II). I had no idea that one has to be “susceptible” (or lack immunity) to the flesh eating disease, but I do now, so all is well…..ramble on 😉

  29. apacker2 says:

    i don,t why

  30. amair says:

    i do not think she had streptococcus infection,my opinion that she had amniotic embolism ,this happend when a big amount of the amniotic fluid got her blood system and caused blood insuffeciency .


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