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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sanford, Florida New Low in HealthCare

When Claudia Mejia gave birth nine months ago at Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) South Seminole in Florida she expected to leave with her newborn son. What happened is that she left with her child, but she, herself, left with no arms or legs. The medical authorities at the hospital will not disclose why the patient who entered the hospital with both her arms and legs in tact, is now a quadruple amputee, unable to care for her child.

"I want to know what happened. I went to deliver my baby and I came out like this," Claudia Mejia-quadruple amputee.

When Ms Mejia asked why she received this radical surgery she was only told she had streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria, and toxic shock syndrome. Because no further explanation was given, despite the new Florida state law entitled "Patients Right to Know", Ms Mejia has had to file a legal complaint in the Florida courts against the Orlando Regional Healthcare System to have a judicial interpretation of the law.

E. Clay Parker, legal counsel for Ms Mejia says the hospital is in violation of the law.
"We were forced to file this and ask a judge to interpret the constitutional amendment and do right," E. Clay Parker, Esquire, attorny representing Claudia Mejia
Hospital officials and their attorneys have indicated if she wants to find out exactly what happened, she would have to sue them. They claim disclosure of what precipitated Mejia's surgery could jeopardize the privacy of other patients. In fact the hospitals lawyers wrote:
"Ms. Mejia’s request may require legal resolution."
According to their interpretation of the law, Mejia has to sue them to get information about herself. Hospital officials smaintain the woman wants to know information that would violate other patients' rights.

Both Ms Mejia and her husband, Tim Edwards, want to know how, and when, she contracted streptococcus. Ms Mejia has no clue if this occurred during or after labor.

Judy Hyman, also an attorney representing Mejia, informed ORHS in a letter stating, according to the Florida statute, "The Patients Right To Know About Adverse Medical Incidents Act," the hospital is compelled to give her the records.

"When the statute is named 'Patients Right To Know,' I don't know how it could be clearer," Judy Hyman Esquire, attorney for Claudia Mejia.
Ms Mejia is also the mother of a 7 year old son who constantly questions her as to what happened. She says not knowing exactly what happened is unbearable; and she is hopeful the right thing will be done by the hospital officials. Mejia says she hopes she will soon be able to answer her son's question.

Orlando Regional Medical Center officials say Mejia is seeking information on whether patients or someone else on her floor was infected with streptococcus. They say release of such information would violate the rights of other patients.

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