Girl Has Thumb Amputated And Replaced With Toe After Hospital Blunder
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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Britney Thomas, from Victoria, was pursuing her dream job a professional cricket player when a pretty simple trip to the hospital went drastically wrong.
The poor girl, who was 17 at the time, had injured her thumb while she was playing cricket in Hong Kong. A trip to the doctor when she got home showed that she'd fractured it, so she was sent to Latrobe Regional Hospital for an operation to fix it by a local orthopaedic surgeon.
As is routine, a tourniquet (a device that restricts blood pressure) was applied to her before the operation, to restrict the blood flow during the surgery. Britney was told it would be taken off when the op was done.
It was set in plaster and she was sent home. Then, five whole days later, she realised something wasn't right.
Speaking to news.com.au, Britney revealed that when medics took the cast off to investigate, it turned out the tourniquet hadn't been taken off after the surgery - someone at the hospital had incorrectly written down that it was removed.
She said it was the worst pain she's ever been through.
Britney's mum, Leanne Keating, said: "They pulled the plaster off and it was very dark and looked dead.
"The skin was all yucky. I was mortified, it was horrible."
Sadly, because the blood had been restricted for so long, her thumb was past saving.
Britney said: "They took me into the emergency and they were like, 'You're probably going to lose your thumb'.
"I was in so much disbelief and I was like, 'What's going to happen to me? What's going to happen to my cricket?'"
Britney then had most of her thumb amputated, with what was left being stitched to her groin for six weeks to get the nerves and arteries working again.
Her big toe was then taken off and stitched onto her hand to make a new thumb and a replacement toe was created using her hip bone.
Her lawyer, Tom Ballantyne, has stated that he thinks the error is 'unacceptable', adding: "It is medicine 101."
The CEO at Latrobe Regional Hospital, Peter Craighead, told news.com.au: "I felt sick in my stomach. We thought we had robust procedures and policies in place to ensure we had a very safe environment."
An investigation by the hospital is underway.