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Epidural Needle Fragment Found in Woman’s Spine After Fourteen Years

In a shocking discovery, Amy Bright found out that a fragment of an epidural needle had been lodged in her spine for fourteen years, ever since she gave birth via C-section at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in 2003. Amy received spinal anesthesia during the procedure, which later led to years of unexplained pain and suffering.

Unanticipated Pain and Suffering

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After the birth of her child, Amy began experiencing persistent back pain, a discomfort that persisted for years. This ordeal led her down a path of continuous medication and incorrect diagnoses as she sought relief from her condition. Describing her agony, she stated, “It feels like fire, like a poker next to my tailbone.” The pain radiates to her leg, causing additional distress. She explained, “On occasion, it shoots down the left side of my leg, like my calf, and then down into my foot.”

An Alarming Revelation
It wasn’t until November of the previous year that Amy underwent a CT scan, a diagnostic procedure that finally provided an explanation for her prolonged suffering. The scan revealed that her excruciating pain was attributed to a portion of a needle, approximately 3 centimeters or around an inch in length. Even more distressing, two centimeters of this needle fragment were embedded within the area surrounding her spinal cord. With the discovery of this deeply concerning issue, Amy Bright has taken legal action against the hospital, alleging medical malpractice.

Legal Action and Hospital Response
Expressing her anguish at a press conference, Amy said, “It’s just devastating, it’s absolutely wrong what they did to me. Who doesn’t tell you? Who does that?” When approached for a response, Naval Hospital Jacksonville referred inquiries to the Justice Department, which has refrained from commenting on the matter.

Potential Consequences and Legal Perspectives

The needle fragment’s proximity to her spinal cord raises alarm about potential complications. Amy’s lawyer, Sean B. Cronin, emphasized that medical experts have indicated that the medical practitioners involved should have been aware of the mishap. Cronin, specializing in medical malpractice, expressed his astonishment, noting, “I’ve never seen a piece of needle that’s broken off and left in someone’s spine. It’s outrageous.”

Dr. McCallum R. Hoyt, the Chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Obstetric Anesthesia, commented on the rarity of such a case. She clarified that the incident did not pertain to an epidural needle, as some reports suggested, but rather a spinal needle. She pointed out the distinction that epidural needles are not inserted into the spinal cord’s fluid surroundings, unlike spinal needles. Dr. Hoyt elaborated on the procedure, highlighting the importance of cautious needle advancement and detecting any resistance. She emphasized the need for anesthesia providers to be mindful of needle construction, ensuring appropriate techniques are used during insertion.

A Distressing Ordeal

Amy Bright’s case underscores the importance of patient safety and meticulous medical procedures. Her story serves as a reminder of the impact medical mishaps can have on individuals’ lives, emphasizing the significance of transparent communication and stringent safety measures in medical settings.

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