A 59-year-old Baltimore city woman is alleging she had to have her arms and legs amputated after Johns Hopkins doctors failed to diagnose an infection in her uterus.
Joyce E. Ferguson claims she went to the emergency room at Howard County General Hospital three times with pelvic pain that was “10-out-of-10 on the pain scale” but each time was sent home without the source of the pain being identified, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
Ferguson was waiting to be discharged during her third visit on March 6, 2012, when she was found “lying on a stretcher, incoherent and cold to the touch,” according to the lawsuit. She was admitted to the hospital, where it was discovered she was suffering from “sepsis resulting in multi-organ failure,” according to the lawsuit.
Upon further examination, doctors determined “degrading uterine tissue” was the source of Ferguson’s infection, the lawsuit states. Ferguson recovered from the sepsis and organ failure, but the lack of blood flow to her extremities while she was sick caused gangrene, the lawsuit states. She subsequently had to have her legs amputated above the knees and arms amputated below the elbows, the lawsuit states.
Ferguson claims doctors at Howard County General failed to order a complete pelvic examination and explain “the abnormal finding of a large fluid collection” observed in ultrasounds performed at the hospital and by Ferguson’s private gynecologist, among other allegations.
Howard County General is part of The Johns Hopkins Health System.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for medical negligence.
“In our view, this case is an example of a Tragedy, with a capital ‘T,’ that was entirely avoidable,” said one of Ferguson’s attorneys, Howard A. Janet.
Ferguson is represented by Janet and Sharon R. Morgan of Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC in Pikesville.
Hopkins does not comment on pending litigation.
The case is Joyce E. Ferguson v. The Johns Hopkins Health System Corp., et al., 24C14008021.