The family of a 63-year-old Utah woman is suing a hospital after they say doctors left an open tube in her body, causing her blood to drain from her into a garbage can, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.
Donnamay Brockbank had surgery at St. Mark’s Hospital in June 2018 to remove a medical device causing an allergic reaction, according to court documents obtained by the newspaper. During the procedure — Brockbank had a cardiopulmonary bypass — blood left her body through a tube in her neck and re-entered in her femur.
After the surgery, as the equipment was being broken down and Brockbank’s heart was beating on its own, the re-entry tube to the femur was closed; the needle draining blood from the woman’s neck, however, was not, according to the lawsuit.
At that time, blood was pumping directly from Brockbank’s heart into a medical garbage can, the lawsuit stated.
When Brockbank’s blood pressure dropped, transfusions were performed and live-saving measures were taken, but, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, nobody addressed the tube in her neck still leaking blood into the trash can.
Two days after the surgery, hospital employees told Brockbank’s family a “reservoir of blood” had been found in a medical garbage can, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The family Brockbank left behind, as well as their lawyers, have been working through what they call some of the worst medical records they have ever seen in order to figure out what went wrong.
“We want to express our deepest condolences to Donnamay Brockbank’s family for their loss,” St. Mark’s CEO Mark Robinson told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on any pending litigation. That said, we continuously seek to learn from every patient situation to improve the quality and safety of the care we provide in our operating rooms and throughout the hospital.”