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Incorrectly inserted catheter may have caused patient injuries

June 25th, 2019

Many Louisiana residents know the fun and freedom that can come with retirement. Retirees finally have time to indulge in hobbies, travel and leisure activities, and everyone hopes to remain relatively healthy to allow them to continue enjoying themselves well into old age. Unfortunately, all too often, a senior’s golden years are interrupted by a medical emergency, and sometimes, during the course of treatment, medical professionals cause unnecessary patient injuries.

In a recent example, an 85-year-old man and his wife boarded a cruise ship. The man had been using a catheter and urinary drainage bag for the previous five months. One morning, he had trouble reinserting the catheter and visited the medical bay, but after the ship’s doctor inserted the device, blood appeared in the bag. Figuring the man must have blood in his urine, the doctor told him to come back later in the day

Over the course of the day, the man became delirious and began trembling. Back at the medical bay later that afternoon, staff replaced his bag, took diagnostics, and sent him back to his room, but the bag continued to fill with blood. By the next day, he was unable to walk and was losing lucidity. Once the ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico, he was transported to a hospital, and through a CT scan, doctors discovered the catheter had not reached his bladder but instead had punctured his urethra and was drawing only blood. Many months of rehabilitation later, the man can walk with a cane, but cannot enjoy many of his favorite activities, such as golf and traveling.

The couple is now suing the cruise line for negligence, claiming medical staff did not properly insert the catheter and failed to take appropriate action once they realized there was a problem. Although the couple has sent the cruise line a pre-suit demand for $750,000, they have not received a response. As well, the man’s wife is suing for loss of consortium due to the permanent loss of their sex life. Unfortunately, this chain of events has resulted in serious patient injuries that have significantly affected this man’s ability to enjoy life. In Louisiana, people who feel they have been victims of negligence may wish to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss options for legal recourse.

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