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Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Hillcrest

Staff photo— Jerry Larson, file

Two former patients at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco filed medical malpractice lawsuits in the past week.

Randall Clark and Sandra Clark, residents of Duck River, Tennessee, filed a lawsuit in Waco’s 414th State District Court. McLennan County residents William Bailey and Nicole Bailey filed a lawsuit in 170th State District Court.

Scott Clark, a Baylor Scott & White Health spokesman, said it would be inappropriate for him to make a public comment on pending litigation.

“The quality of patient care we provide is of paramount importance to us,” Clark said. “As this is pending litigation, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

The Clarks’ suit says Randall Clark went to the hospital in December 2013 for treatment of a hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

An operation was aborted because doctors noted bleeding from a “large artery,” according to the lawsuit. The operation was converted to an open abdominal exploration, called a laparotomy.

The scheduled surgery was performed after the bleeding was brought under control, the suit says. Doctors and nurses used sponges and pads to control the bleeding.

After the operations, hospital officials “recognized that an appropriate accounting of the sponges had not been performed,” so doctors performed a “radiographic procedure to locate any unaccounted sponges.” No foreign objects were located, and Clark was transferred from the operating room, the suit says.

Later, Clark suffered a “marked deterioration,” developed respiratory failure and was transferred to the intensive care unit, according to the suit. A scan was performed, which showed a “retained foreign object” in his stomach near his diaphragm.

Surgery was performed and revealed two laparotomy pads that had been left inside Clark, the suit alleges.

“Retained surgical objects are considered to be completely preventable and thus are included on the list on ‘never events,’ the treatment for which Medicare and Medicaid will not reimburse as it cannot occur in the absence of negligence,” according to the suit, filed on the Clarks’ behalf by Houston attorney Jon Phillip Spiers.

The suit alleges that as a result of the hospital’s negligence, Clark suffered a number of injuries, including the need for an additional surgery; invasive testing and monitoring devices; respiratory failure that required prolonged endotracheal intubation with mechanical ventilation; cardiac arrhythmias; anemia requiring transfusions; and others.

2nd lawsuit

The second lawsuit, filed a day later by Houston attorney Monica Vaughan, says William Bailey went to one of the hospital’s clinics for a urological scope procedure in March 2014. Bailey told nurses there he was “severely nauseous and light-headed,” the suit alleges.

He was assisted to the bathroom but left unattended. He blacked out and fell, striking his head, according to the lawsuit.

Bailey was taken to the emergency room, where tests revealed he suffered “traumatic brain injury, accompanied by pain and memory loss.”

He also began to experience severe neck pain and was found to have a herniated disc, for which he underwent surgery, the suit alleges.

He continues to suffer pain and memory problems that have prevented him from returning to work. The suit claims the medical facility was negligent for failing to prevent Bailey from falling.

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