Patient Story

Your Name:  Gary F. Thomsen

Patient's Name/Relationship:  close friend

City/State:  Omaha, Nebraska

When did event occur (what year)?  2018

Where did event occur?  Acute Care General Hospital

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. This occurred at the VA Medical Center in Omaha, NE. After a biopsy which indicated cancer,  kidney was removed. Then they couldn't decide whether it was cancerous or not. He seemed to be recovering but after a couple days, his condition worsened precipitously. He had contracted a blood infection (probably staph, the doctor wouldn't say, he only stated it was an infection which lurked in hospitals). Sometime after that he was on a breathing tube, getting 4 kinds of meds including Fentynal and receiving nourishment through IVs, had not regained consciousness and a week and a half after surgery, the staff were trying to find a relative who would authorization of cessation of care. At this time, April 9, he is still hanging on but the prognosis does not look good. On April 6th they supposedly did a ultrasound through the esophagus to see if his heart valves were damaged by the infection. As far as I know he has still not regained consciousness. I will post more later to report recovery or death. Another problem I observed was that even though I was required to put on gloves and a gown when I entered his room in ICU, several of the medical staff didn't take the same precautions. Also, at least 4 of the staff used the same stethoscope which was hanging over the IV stand, without washing their hands or the earpieces when checking the patient. The nurse and respiratory technician, however did observe proper safety precautions.

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue?  Serious or life-threatening injury