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Image of The UK Biological-Pharmaceutical Building
The UK Biological-Pharmaceutical Building; image courtesy of J654567 via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/

When was the last time you underwent a medical procedure or surgery? When most people visit their doctors for medical treatment, there’s a certain expectation that they will be well cared for. Few actually think they may end up with a botched surgery. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. For example, a medical malpractice lawsuit was recently filed against the University of Kentucky by a former nurse after “surgeons allegedly severed tubes critical for urinating.” The woman, Andrea Brandenburg, filed the suit in Fayette Circuit Court earlier this week and names the UK hospital, a nurse, and several doctors as defendants.

Specifically, the suit names “Drs. Sandra Jones Beck, Justin Peterson, Luis F. Acosta Briceno, and registered nurse Jennifer Tavitian, plus 10 ‘unknown defendants’” who will be identified at a later date during the litigation process.

Image of a surgical procedure
Surgery; image courtesy of sasint via Pixabay, https://pixabay.com

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Brandenburg worked as a nurse at the UK hospital for 20 years. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in Septemeber 2017 and “underwent a bowel resection surgery at UK on Sept. 29, 2017.” During the procedure, the suit claims both of her “ureters were cut during the surgery, and that the severing led to a series of complications and other surgeries and procedures.” For those who don’t know, “a ureter is a tube that carries urine from a kidney to the bladder.”

The lawsuit argues that, if the “surgery been performed properly and in accordance with medical standards, neither of the ureters would have been cut.” Richard Getty, an attorney for Brandenburg, also chimed in and said, “We believe the defendants departed from the standard of care and we believe the evidence we’ll present, including expert testimony, will firmly establish that.”

To make matters worse, the suit claims that, because of the botched procedure, “it was necessary to postpone the start of Brandenburg’s chemotherapy until Nov. 24, 2017, a month later than originally planned and nearly two months after the bowel resection surgery.” Additionally, because of all the procedures and the botched surgery, Brandenburg was allegedly “physically unable to return to work after the surgeries, and was required to leave her employment at UK in early 2018.”

As a result, she was forced to apply for long-term disability and Social Security disability to help cover her living and medical costs. According to the suit, the entire ordeal has been “emotionally and financially challenging.

How has the hospital responded to the lawsuit, though? Well, so far Jay Blanton, a university spokesman said:

“UK takes its responsibility to provide quality care to its patients seriously, but it has not yet received a copy of any complaint, and our policy is not to comment on active litigation.”

Sources:

A ‘botched surgery’ led nurse to sue Lexington hospital where she worked for 20 years

Andrea L. Brandenburg, APRN

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