Patient Story

Your Name: Name withheld by request 

Patient's Name/Relationship: Nickname: "Banjo Grandma"/self

City/State: Valley Village, CA

When did event occur (what year)? 2017

Where did event occur? Other Location

What type of medical harm did you experience or witness? Healthcare-Acquired Infection

Please describe what happened. Your story will appear on our website exactly as you have written it unless there is a problem, in which case we will contact you for clarification. 12 days after a double mastectomy with simultaneous reconstruction I was diagnosed with an infection in one breast and a fungus that grew under the reconstructed breasts. I’d been monitored closely and when the infection was diagnosed my surgeon conducted emergency surgery to remove the breast implants the same day. I was hospitalized while the infectious disease team cultured my cells. After diagnosing the infection as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, which took 3 days, more time ensued while the hospital tested various medications to determine their efficacy against this bacteria. The first medication made me terribly nauseous and sick, but a second one achieved success. During the entire experience I was dosed with at least 5 antibiotics. The one I took is very strong and can have serious side effects, but I didn’t get them. I face reconstruction surgery in two weeks with trepidation but hope I will not be so unlucky next time. The staff at this large regional cancer are very client focused and coordinated well during the entire experience but it was also necessary for my husband and me to be proactive and stay informed.

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? Extended length of hospital stay and  reconstruction surgery has to be repeated.