It gets worse: "I was billed $8,500 for three days in the hospital to treat the infection, and that is obscene," says David. The hospital recently apologized and offered him $3000 under the condition that he sign a non-disclosure agreement. However, that's not good enough, says David, whose insurance covered the medical bills. Reimbursement is not his only objective—he also wants to ensure that patient safety is improved. Makers of medical devices and the medical community must be held accountable for their mistakes.
David no longer suffers from his back problem, but he has developed severe complications from the hospital infection. "During the recovery time of the infection, I suffered from vertigo," says David. "Because of the vertigo and a large loss of strength in my left side, my doctor ordered a CT scan of my brain. Based on the results, a radiologist report indicated that I had experienced a possible stroke brought on by the excessive amount of antibiotics needed to treat the infection."
David says that after his surgery, he went to a rehab center, where the major infection in the incision area went unnoticed by the nursing staff. The discharge from the wound increased daily, yet he was sent home. "My entire back and the bed were soaked," he recalls. David's primary surgeon took a look at the wound and told him to go back to hospital for another surgery ASAP.
"I had a pic catheter inserted and was put on a strong antibiotic only used for MRSA infections," says David. "They watched me overnight to see if my white blood cell count came up. After three days they sent me home. I had to take the antibiotic and change bandages for 30 days. Once a week a nurse came over and checked my white blood count.
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"I believe a large extent of the damage was caused by…neglect and failure to take proper medical action once the infection became noticeable. I feel that the hospital must take responsibility for the poor care given to me. At this point I am willing to negotiate a private settlement over the issue at hand without taking legal action. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, I plan on pursuing all legal remedies for this matter."