Man wakes up after supposed bypass without his legs
The patient was under the impression that he would undergo a simple bypass to improve blood flow to his legs. He woke up in ICU to find that both his legs had been amputated
October 30, 2015
MBOMBELA – A local man who went to theatre under the impression that he was going to undergo a simple bypass procedure, woke up in ICU only to
discover that both his legs had been amputated.
Mr Johnny McGeechan (50) is suing the Gauteng Department of Health for more than R3 million after the surgery in Steve Biko Hospital left him
disabled. He used to be a farmer but is unable to work any longer. He applied for a disability grant last week.
According to court documents, McGeechan saw a physician in Mbombela on January 17 last year when he experienced pain and tenderness in his right
lower leg. The doctor recommended that he go to a hospital urgently for treatment. His son resides in Gauteng and he went there to seek treatment
at Steve Biko as he had done before.
He went to casualties that same day where he was told to return on January 21, 2014. However, the pain persisted and McGeechan returned to the
hospital’s casualties on January 18. He was admitted and two doctors informed him that he would be sent for a CT scan on January 20.
The scan wasn’t perform as scheduled, but McGeechan was told that he would require a vascular bypass surgery to improve blood flow to his legs.
On January 22 a Dopler scan (sonar) was performed and McGeechan was informed that he had a deep vein thrombosis in his right leg.
On the morning of January 23, he developed the same pain in the left leg and only then was an emergency CT scan performed. He was then taken to theatre
for an emergency vascular bypass operation.
It was only when he woke up later in ICU, that he realised that both of his legs had been amputated. He was then required to sign a consent form for the
amputation, which he did.
McGeechan is of the opinion that, had the CT scan been performed earlier, physicians could have intervened sooner and his legs could possibly have been
saved. He is consequently suing the department for R100 000 for past medical expenditure, R500 000 for estimated future medical expenditure, R2 million
for an estimated loss of income and another R700 000 for general damages.
De Meyer De Vries Attorneys, who specialises in personal injury and medical negligence, is handling McGeechan’s
case. She said they had only received an appearance to defend from Gauteng’s MEC for health. “We are in the early stages of litigation.”
The department didn’t respond to enquiries at the time of going to print.