A British teenager was permanently paralyzed after an epidural anesthetic was left in her spine for too long. The hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, admitted the medical error after the painkiller was left in her back for two days.
Sophie Tyler was 14 when she entered the hospital to undergo routine surgery to remove gallstones. “My daughter’s life has completely changed as a result of what happened,” said Sophie’s mother Sue. “From being an outgoing teenager, her life has altered overnight and we have all had to come to terms with what has happened.”
Despite warnings that something was awry, hospital officials didn’t remove the anesthetic until two days after surgery. Sophie had complained that numbness had spread to her lower extremities and she was unable to move her feet. An MRI scan later revealed that the
“anaesthetic had entered her spinal cord and damaged her membrane, permanently paralysing her.”
According to Sky News, “Dr Vin Diwakar, chief medical officer at the hospital, said: “We are deeply sorry for the unimaginable distress we have caused Sophie and her family as a result of the care she received at our hospital three years ago. The care we provided fell below our usual high standards and since then we have implemented a whole series of changes to try to ensure that this never happens again.”
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