Local Woman Wants Answers.

Woman Becomes Quadruple Amputee After Giving Birth

Image hosting by PhotobucketORLANDO, Fla. — A Sanford mother says she will never be able to hold her newborn because an Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and, she claims, the hospital refuses to explain why they left her as a multiple amputee.

The woman filed a complaint against Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems, she said, because they won’t tell her exactly what happened. The hospital maintains the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients’ rights.

Claudia Mejia gave birth eight and a half months ago at Orlando Regional South Seminole. She was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando where her arms and legs were amputated. She was told she had streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria, and toxic shock syndrome, but no further explanation was given.

The hospital, in a letter, wrote that if she wanted to find out exactly what happened, she would have to sue them. “I want to know what happened. I went to deliver my baby and I came out like this,” Mejia said.

Mejia said after she gave birth to Mathew last spring, she was kept in the hospital with complications. Twelve days after giving birth at Orlando Regional South Seminole hospital, she was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she became a quadruple amputee. Now she can not care for or hold her baby.


How can something like this happen? The hospital claims that she had Streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria, but they never told her how she got it and if they could have done something else. I hope she sues and if there is some form of negligence on the part of the hospital that it gets taken care of and removed from our medical system.

Doctor Bonesaw had better have good malpractice insurance.

13 Comments so far

  1. Solonor (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

    “The hospital maintains the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients’ rights.”

    How the hell is telling her exactly why they chopped off her arms and legs gonna have anything to do with other patients??? Unless she got the bacteria in the hospital fron another patient maybe? Something’s way fishy (or just overly bureaucratic).

  2. kate (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

    I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t sue. I’m sure when she got home, John Morgan was at her door greeting her with flowers.

  3. Samson Isberg (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 12:57 am

    I see the Hospital’s point.She wants to know the Streptococcal status of other patients in the Hospital, and of course the Hospital is not allowed to give out info on other patients, – they’ve got rights too. This is a classic case of a situation where the lawmakers have screwed up; by giving one patient rights (of information) that collides with other patients rights (of confidentiality). So naturally, the lawyers are crawling all over the problem that the lawmakers (who are also by and large lawyers btw) have created for them.

  4. Brandon Toomey (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 3:34 am

    That hospital needs to be put out of business and the doctors responsible flogged. Streptococcus is no ‘flesh-eating disease’ and there is ABSOLUTELY no situation that could be REMOTELY related to it to require amputation of both arms and legs.

    Strep B is very common in pregnant women, and the only risk is to the baby, during delivery. A simple antibiotic in the saline drip she would have gotten when she arrived to give birth is all that’s necessary. This was the case with my wife and son in May ’04–they still have eight limbs, between the two of them. And all their skin.

    Of course, neither of them look Latino or have a ‘foreign’ sounding last name–and I say that because it almost sounds like somebody had an axe to grind and mutilated her on purpose.

    Talk about completely destroying somebody’s life. She deserves every cent out of that hospital, and every bit of supermodern prosthetic that money can buy her. It’s not her arms and legs back, but it’s the least they can do.

  5. Ricki (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 10:35 pm

    In responce to Brandon Toomey
    Your right she deserves something from this, but there is a form of strep that is referred to as “the flesh eating bacteria” Caused by strep A. It’s the most invasive form called necrotizing fasciitis. Along with necro comes toxic shock, I know …the same thing happened to me. I went in had a baby, got real sick and fell into a coma… when i woke I had no legs or finger tips, no i didn’t loose my arms that is worse.. but same general story. 4 days from the birth of my daughter, I was in a coma, septic with no chance to live. And my Dr’s sent me home with a fever and the complaints of pain I had, after having my baby.
    And as far as where she got it… In my research of strep.. everyone has strep bactria on them. It lives on our skin and sometimes, like having a baby or major surgery, when your at your weakest it finds it’s way in. Most people just don’t associate this with strep though because there is not a lot of publicity on it. Hospitals all across the USA have to keep reports on Staph but not strep. So therefore there is no statistics on it. More commen then most know, but not as commen as everyday someone getting it. Hope this helps a bit. I’m chalked full of info on, since has been forced to be apart of my life forever now.

  6. Doctor kildare (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2006 @ 1:13 am

    That hospital needs to be put out of business and the doctors responsible flogged. Streptococcus is no ‘flesh-eating disease’ and there is ABSOLUTELY no situation that could be REMOTELY related to it to require amputation of both arms and legs.

    To the contrary; the doctors involved in this case y should be GIVEN MEDALS because their quick and aggressive action PROBABLY SAVED THIS WOMAN’S LIFE.

    The news story is an alarmist and one-sided crock of dung.

    Contrary to what is written above, Group A Streptococcus causes both Toxic Shock syndrome and Necrotizing fasciitis both of which carry mortality rates as high as 80%.

    Both can occur after childbirth. . .

    And both can occur with bacteria that are part of the normal flora. . .

    Both can kill rapidly, in some cases within less than 24 hours.

    Test every patient in the hospital (or random people walking on the street) and many if not MOST of them might grow Group A streptococcus!

    The only appropriate therapy for necrotizing fasciitis is RAPID AND AGGRESSIVE SURGICAL DEBRIDEMENT (excision) of all infected tissues. Failure to do this often leads to DEATH.

    This woman’s lawyers’ desire to obtain the medical records of other patients in the hospital is not only irrelevant, its blatantly illegal. How would YOU feel if a bunch of ambulance chasers got a hospital to give them all of *YOUR* confidential medical records just because some third party had a bad disease?

    The hospital here (and not this woman) is the victim. They are doing the ONLY appropriate thing, which is refusing this ridiculous and unnecessary invasion of the medical confidentiality of third parties.

  7. Ron (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2006 @ 10:37 pm

    She still has the rights to the medical records,without question,or delay, ole Doc Kildare, that’s where you lose!

  8. Outsider (unregistered) on January 26th, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

    My comments are based on the 10-12 articles I read concerning this case.

    A quadruple amputation 12 days after the fact is not what I would consider aggressive action. There must have been indications previous to the ones that the surgeons used to determine the amputation candidacy.

    Aggressive would have been to rush her into emergency surgery immediately after the disease was detected and remove the affected subcutaneous tissue before it spread any further. It is true that the bacteria can cause mortality in the first 24 hours, but this was not the first 24, 48, or even 72 hours after complications were detected.

    This type of infection lives under the surface of the skin, so it is sometimes difficult to detect in early stages. This is apparently not the case for this woman, as she displayed signs of complications immediately after the surgery.

    I do not believe that her knowledge of the status of who might test positive for the bacteria is nearly as important as the status of the sterility of the original surgeon’s hands, the room, the garments, the instruments, or even her own tissue surrounding the incision. The question at hand is really: could this have been prevented – and if so – how? Once these questions are answered, then the next course of action may be taken.

    This is not the amputating surgeon(s)’s fault(s). This was possibly a failure to properly diagnose and promptly treat the complications after the initial surgery. If there was malpractice, it would involve the sanitation and sterilization practices at the original hospital.

  9. Claudia (unregistered) on January 27th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    I agree that the hospital was negligent in finding and treating the infection in a timely manner. There have been a number of similar cases in the last couple years, as mentioned above.

    Here is one that is transpiring in New York RIGHT NOW:

    Mon. Jan 23, 2006: is in the hospital. It began with flu like symptoms last week. By last Saturday, an irritation on his leg got so bad that he couldn’t walk. They took him to the hospital, where they opened up his leg. They found a very aggressive, fast moving, flesh eating bacteria in his bloodstream. They isolated it, but he is still in ICU, on a ventilator and sedated.

    Tues, Jan. 24: The bacteria has traveled from his lower/mid leg to his upper thigh. They are still growing cultures to identify it and to test various antibiotics on it. Last night his blood pressure was dropping and kidney funciton was compromised.

    Wed, Jan 25: He returned to the operating room today to have the three open wounds flushed out. They continued to try to remove some of the toxins. He has had some damage to the lower part of his leg, but so far it is minor in relation to his overall condition. They have him on a number of very strong intraveneous antibiotics that they believe will control this and are hopeful to save his leg. They believe it is contained to the leg at this point, but are still monitoring other major organs like the heart and the kidneys. The kidneys have not worsened or improved at this point. He is still in ICU, on a ventilator and sedated.

    Thurs, Jan. 26: Things are still guarded, but we turned a positive corner today.

    His kidneys are back to near normal. Fever is down. White count is on a downward trend. The antibiotics are working. He is still on the ventilator and sedated. He goes to the O.R. tomorrow for another toxic cleansing of his leg. We’ll know about next steps after they do the cleansing and see what state the leg is in.

    … bottom line: fast action is saving this man from further damage and possibly saving his life.

    TODAY: waiting for further news.

    It is inexcusable that this woman’s doctors made no such efforts to find and treat her problem. Whatever it takes to determine the cause is what needs to be done. Patient records can be researched without attaching a name to them.

  10. Erin (unregistered) on January 31st, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

    Actually the one BIG problem of this story, was that it sounds like she nor her husband were TOLD that she was gonna get amputated, she just woke up that way. The hospital seriously messed up there, not getting PERMISSION. If she was awake, she could have made the decision, if she wasn’t, her husband would have had to, and they’d have a lot more information than they seem to. Despite the rapid circumstances of what happened, it only takes 2 minutes to make a phone call.

  11. christine (unregistered) on February 8th, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

    Streptococcus is not normally a flesh eating bacteria. Strep lives in the back of your throat in most people. Rarely it can strike opportunistically and very quickly as Necrotizing Fasciitis. I seriously doubt that you could find the source of Claudia Mejia’s infection, because it probably did not come from another Necrotizing Fasciitis patient. It sounds like some extremely bad luck. The hospital looks very bad here but they probably do not know where the bacteria came from either.

  12. Jim B (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

    It is nearly 8 years now since our son was attacked by Invasive Group A streptococus.

    He was an athletic strong 21 year old studying in France. He was not fortunate enough to get treatment early. Not because of the hospital or medical system but rather because the desease is fast acting and hides. Some people don’t even have symptoms that indicate it until too late. It will at times go directly to the soft organs and vascular system.

    The medical system does not even know exactly how this strep A works vesus when you have a sore throat. The causitive agent still evades the researchers.

    I know the lady and her family would like an answer but I doubt anyone has a satisfactory response. The disease took our son but not any of his fellow students. It took Josh and a few years before him the Muppets Jim Hansen and eight years later I have no idea why. Sometimes there is no answer, just moving forward with life.

  13. Tawn, RN (unregistered) on February 19th, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

    Strep has many different species, some are relatively harmless, one is the nasty flesh eating variety. They had to amputate her limbs to save her life. But that’s NOT the issue here.

    The issue is that Claudia got the infection in the first place. Hospitals shouldn’t be so filthy that this kind of bacteria exists in them. They should be CLEAN and patients shouldn’t pick up life threatening bacteria and viruses.

    What Claudia is trying to do is ascertain how many other patients contracted the same infection and the hospital is naturally refusing to reveal this. They don’t want the public to find out just how unsanitary they really are.

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