Tumour op, then burns to buttocks
SANDRINE Smith went into Logan Hospital south of Brisbane for cervical surgery to remove a tumour but ended up with burnt buttocks that have caused her pain for three years.
The 46-year-old is now suing over her 2014 injuries, which her claim alleges were likely caused by ignition of preparation liquid or an illdirected diathermy loop procedure.
Her Supreme Court claim, filed by Littles Lawyers, says she had partial thickness burns to her buttocks and an electrical injury to the sacral segments at the bottom of her spine.
Mrs Smith (pictured) says she still can’t sit, work or drive, spends most days lying on her hip on a mattress in her lounge room, and uses a wheeliewalker to get around.
She and husband Michael set up a business in 2009 offer- ing furniture removal for corporate clients, with Mrs Smith running the office.
“Unfortunately, on the 25th of September, 2014, our lives changed drastically,’’ she said.
She said she was told the “routine’’ cervical surgery, using a thin wire loop heated by an electrical current, would take half an hour and she would be able to return to work within two days.
Mrs Smith, who also has complained to the Health Ombudsman, said she woke from the procedure two hours later feeling “intense burning, internally and externally’’.
She said the pain in her buttocks became more severe after she went home. She then returned to the hospital after she felt wetness in the buttocks area and chunks of skin fell off when she pulled up clothing. She said a hospital specialist told her it was probably a friction burn from sheets being ripped out from under her – an explanation Mrs Smith and other doctors reject. Littles Lawyers partner Sugath Wijedoru said it was disappointing that the specialist’s report was not in Mrs Smith’s hospital file, obtained under Right to Information laws. Mr Wijedoru said other doctors Mrs Smith saw said the burns were more likely caused by an inadvertent surgical fire related to a flammable preparation liquid being used. Logan Hospital says it is working with the Office of the Health Ombudsman to resolve a complaint of injury during a procedure in 2014. It could not comment on the legal claim.