New mother who lost limbs to flesheating disease sues Halifax hospital

first_imgHALIFAX – Lindsey Hubley was diagnosed with flesh-eating disease four days after giving birth and is now a quadruple amputee, has undergone a total hysterectomy and has been forced to spend the first seven months of her son’s life in hospital.Now, she’s taking legal action against the IWK Health Centre and several Halifax-area doctors for alleged wrongdoings in her care during the birth and her postoperative care.Lawyer Ray Wagner said a statement of claim filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday alleges that the negligence of five doctors and the hospital caused or contributed to the health issues suffered by Hubley.“She was very lucky to have survived,” said Wagner in an interview on Wednesday.Hubley, 33, gave birth to her son Myles on March 2 but was rushed to the hospital a day after being discharged and was later diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, otherwise known as flesh-eating disease.Wagner said it’s alleged part of the placenta was not removed at birth, and that she had a tear on her vagina that required sutures, which could have contributed to her health issues.He said it’s also alleged that when Hubley arrived back at the hospital on March 5 with abdominal pain — the day after being discharged following the birth — an examination was not performed. Hubley was diagnosed with constipation and sent home.“Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital … a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented,” said Wagner.The next day, she was rushed to the hospital after experiencing more pain and discolouration on her body.She was later diagnosed with flesh-eating disease, and has since undergone multiple surgeries, including amputations below both of her elbows and knees and a total hysterectomy.The allegations have not been proven in court, and the IWK did not comment on the claims Wednesday.Hubley’s fiancee, Mike Sampson, 34, who is also named as a plaintiff in the case, has not been able to work since the birth of Myles. He said “life has been put on hold.”“Myles and I make our way into the hospital pretty much every day to see mama,” said Sampson in an interview Wednesday. “Our lives have been turned upside down.”But despite the horrific ordeal, Sampson said his fiancee has remained very positive.“No mom should ever have to watch their fiancee and their son walk out the door every night for over 200 days,” he said.“She’s incredibly positive … She has an outlook that this process has taken her arms and her legs, but it’s not going to take her happiness.”Sampson said Hubley is no longer infected but does require more major surgeries — including a kidney transplant — however they are hopeful she’ll soon be able to start attending rehab.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Lindsey Hubley’s first name.last_img read more

Continue reading

Ottawas Canada Science and Technology Museum reopening with new sensory exhibit

first_imgOTTAWA – The technology used in the field of medicine has grown by leaps and bounds over the past century, but when the Canada Science and Technology Museum reopens in Ottawa next month, a new exhibit in the 7,400-square-metre space will be asking visitors to imagine the future while getting back to basics: sight, sound, touch, smell and even taste.The idea for “Medical Sensations” came from a previously planned exhibit focused on medical imaging that the museum had on the books when mould and a leaky roof forced the tourist attraction to shut down three years ago, says Christina Tessier, director general of the museum.As they thought about expanding the medical imaging exhibit for the grand reopening, Tessier says they decided to go beyond sight to incorporate all the other senses physicians use to diagnose and treat patients — with the added bonus being that it’s also a great way to explore a museum.“That aspect of our five senses is very approachable and accessible for the audience for understanding medical technology and also it allows us to look fully at that whole spectrum of medical treatment and diagnosis,” says Tessier.Here’s a rundown of the sense-based approach to the new exhibit:SOUNDThe tour begins with a collection of stethoscopes, including a replica of the first one, invented in 1816. David Pantalony, curator of the new exhibit, says there is a bit of a debate over whether the iconic medical instrument is really necessary anymore. Still, he notes that for much of the world, it remains an important diagnostic device, especially in the developing world.“There’s a lot of physicians worldwide who say this is still one of the most powerful, simple, elegant ways to learn about the body,” says Pantalony.Other attractions in the sound section of the exhibit include buttons to listen to different kinds of coughs and a 1940s vinyl recording of a heartbeat, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on the other side of the record. The exhibit also explores the more abstract aspect of sound in health care — that of listening. It includes a profile of Dr. Lisa Monkman, an Anishinaabe physician in Manitoba, who describes listening to the stories of her patients and their entire communities.“It’s not just about treating the disease, but it’s treating the patient,” Pantalony says.SIGHTThe sense of sight is as important to the medical profession now as it was centuries ago, but it is explored in different ways as the exhibit hops through time. The section includes a wall of wax models, called moulages, that medical students would have used as a three-dimensional guide to various skin conditions.“The students would … look at them like a book,” says Pantalony.Although this is the section on sight, it also includes an element of touch. One of the moulages, depicting a hand spotted with warts, has been 3D printed and mounted on the wall, so that the visually impaired can still interact with the exhibit. On the other end of the technological spectrum is an interactive app called Visible Body, a computerized atlas of human anatomy that lets the visitor zoom in and out on everything from eyeballs to the spine.TASTE AND SMELLBelieve it or not, doctors used to rely on the senses of taste and smell to help figure out what was ailing their patients — including when it comes to urine. The museum has a replica of a 16th-century urine wheel, which depicts the different colours, tastes and scents of that bodily secretion and what it would have meant to physicians back in those days. Pantalony says some of the same debates over the use of technology in medicine existed at that time, as some were concerned doctors were relying too heavily on the urine test as a diagnostic tool, rather than using their other senses at the bedside.TOUCHOne game in this section that will likely be popular with visitors involves manipulating levers to perform fine motor skills-based tasks, much like one would during surgery, using robotic arms. Another involves putting your hand through a curtain to feel a 3D-printed version of an organ. By using only the sense of touch, visitors need to figure out whether they are feeling a brain, a pair of lungs or even an entire skull.ALL TOGETHER NOWNo matter how sophisticated the medical imaging devices of today are, physicians are often required to use more than one sense to diagnose and treat their patients. This is made clear in one section of the exhibit where patients are presented with a simplified version of the simulation doll used in medical schools and given a chance to explore their senses to figure out what is wrong. They can smell the breath, look into the eyes, listen to the heartbeat, or feel a rash on the skin.“This is really the art of the practice of medicine, bringing it all together,” says Pantalony.———If you go…Ottawa’s Canada Science and Technology Museum reopens Nov. 17 at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd.Admission for adults is $17, seniors and students pay $13, a ticket for kids ages three to 17 is $11, while children two and under get in for free.There is also a discounted family pass and free admission for members, while anyone can check out the museum for free daily between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

Continue reading