Healthcare News & Insights

Woman sues after weight loss surgery leaves her a double amputee

Allegations of improper care following gastric bypass surgery are at the root of a patient’s lawsuit. Mary Beth Ruphard of Joliet, Illinois, had the weight loss surgery early last November. Ruphard was 278 pounds and suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Ruphard went back to the hospital, Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, a few weeks later to have a perforation repaired. On Thanksgiving morning, she started to feel pain and tingling in her legs.

Her medical chart shows that Ruphard’s toes had turned cold and blue and that she eventually lost feeling below her knees. Her lawyer claims that the hospital waited far too long to offer the correct treatment and contact a surgeon. He also said that once the surgeon was called, he was upset and asked staffers why he wasn’t brought in sooner.

Ruphard’s laywer indicated that inadequate staffing over the holiday might have been a factor in Ruphard’s care.

Whatever the cause, by the time a surgeon did see her, 36 hours later, it was too late to save her legs.

Ruphard is now suing the hospital, claiming it didn’t monitor her condition adequately and didn’t administer proper care, since she had a pre-existing clotting disorder.

Provena St. Joseph Medical Center wouldn’t discuss this specific case, citing privacy issues, but said in a statement that gastric bypass surgery carries known risks and that its patients are properly monitored and treated.

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