GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Christine A. Heisler, Spectrum Health Hospitals, and Spectrum Health Primary Care Partners was filed today in Kent County Circuit Court by Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC on behalf of long time Grand Rapids area resident Pamela Buschle.
Pamela Buschle, a school social worker for special needs children, underwent routine gynecology surgery at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in December 2013. Six days later, she was rushed to the emergency room by her husband, where it was immediately recognized Pam was suffering from sepsis, a deadly condition caused by the body's response to infection. In order to keep her vital organs from completely shutting down, Pam required extraordinary amounts of medications known as vasopressors that redirected blood from her extremities to her vital organs. This, in turn, caused the tissue in her arms and legs to die. As a result, her lower legs, feet, forearms and hands were amputated.
Grateful for survival, Buschle went public with her story to inspire others facing extreme recovery challenges. She learned to walk with the aid of prosthetic legs and was fitted with myoelectric arms. It has, however, been extraordinarily difficult for Buschle to come to terms with the knowledge that what happened to her was entirely preventable had her health care providers done their jobs.
Buschle's attorney, Steve Goethel, relates the lawsuit involves the untold part of Pam's story centering around her post-operative care and the placement of a catheter that was supposed to help Pam urinate. Patients with urinary catheters are at significantly increased risk of infection, which Dr. Heisler knew. It was also well known within Spectrum that it was experiencing abnormally high rates of catheter-based infections, so high that the health system was penalized by Medicare for this very reason.
Post operatively, Buschle's failure to improve and impaired urinary function were reported to Heisler and her team for three days. Rather than see that she was properly evaluated and treated, Pam and her husband were repeatedly assured the problems were related to other non-life threatening causes. What should have been an easily treated urinary tract infection instead progressed to uro-sepsis, a lethal condition where the infection enters and circulates in the bloodstream.
"Women undergoing elective hysterectomy do not expect to wind up with their arms and legs amputated. Before surgery, Pam Buschle was a healthy, vibrant wife and mother. She led a fulfilling life as a public school social worker helping autistic and special needs children. As a quadrilateral amputee, Pam is now totally dependent on others just to live a life with astronomical needs that will never approach normal again," said Goethel.
According to Goethel, the defendants in the case include: Christine A. Heisler, M.D.; Spectrum Health Hospitals (Spectrum Butterworth Hospital); and Spectrum Health Primary Care Partners (Spectrum Health The Medical Group).
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, is a Michigan medical malpractice and personal injury litigation firm based in Ann Arbor, MI. Its team of legal professionals have dedicated their lives to helping victims of medical malpractice and serious injury accidents. Over its 30 years of experience, it has accumulated a lengthy record of favorable verdicts and settlements for its clients.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC
3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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SOURCE Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC