Patient Story

Your Name: Herb Fox

Patient's Name/Relationship: wife, Roseann

City/State: Marysville, WA

When did event occur (what year)? 2010

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. My wife was very ill with flu-like symptoms on a Saturday night. We decide to go to the smaller hospital in Arlington, WA, hoping to get better care than we might at the large hospital in Everett. The nurse who initially tended to my wife had a terrible cold, cough, and red, runny nose. By Sunday my wife was delirious, spewing vomit and diarrhea and she was hallucinating and so frighteningly sick that we began to start asking lots of questions. Answers were not forthcoming until late that afternoon, when suddenly a nurse appeared who made us all don masks. A doctor who came in late in the day finally told us they thought my wife had clostridium difficule, (C-diff). She went home the next day, and after we looked up C-diff and found that it is a disease contracted almost exclusively within hospitals, we immediately scheduled an appointment with her regular doctor in Marysville to follow up. They scheduled lab tests, and said they couldn''t find any evidence of C-diff. I had never seen my wife so sick, and it was a frightening time for all of us, particularly because we could't get anyone to tell us what was wrong with her.

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? "Near Miss" - no injury