Patient Story

Your Name: Sydney Koerner

Patient's Name/Relationship: Self

City/State: Voorhees, NJ

When did event occur (what year)? 2016

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. I entered JFK Neuroscience in Edison NJ on October 5, 2016 for a laminectomy. As I was being discharged, I reported that I felt warm and was immediately admitted into intensive care in critical condition and placed on intravenous antibiotics. A week later it was determined that I had E.coli and placed on another antibiotic. On October 12, 2016, I was operated on again to clean out a spinal abcess. I remained in intensive care for several weeks and was then moved to acute rehab in the same hospital. In November I was moved to sub-acute rehab, still on intravenous antibiotics. I was released on November 28, 2016. When I went for follow-up visits, I was told that there had been no effort to determine the cause of the infection and that I was just the "unlucky 1 percent who contracted infections," even though I was not in the high-risk group. Most of the cost was covered by insurance, but because of the delicate nature and large size of the spinal incision, a plastic surgeon who specialized in repairing this type of incision was called in. As he did not accept any insurances, I am out of pocket $10,000 to him.  18 months later, I am still feeling the effects of the infection. 

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? Extended length of hospital stay