CASS COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – A colonoscopy is one of the most common procedures in the nation, but one family says that common procedure went terribly wrong for a loved one.
The documents lay out a family’s complaint to the state physician licensing board.
State inspectors are now investigating what happened at the Cass Regional Medical Center.
“I miss my mom and my own daughter says, ‘grammy you left too soon we didn’t even get to say goodbye,’” Dena Royal, who is the daughter of Martha Wright, said.
Doctors told 83-year-old Martha Wright she was anemic, so she went in for her first Colonoscopy last August.
“She was terrified,” Royal expressed. “The last conversation I had with her was her telling me, ‘a colonoscopy will kill me.’”
She died less than 24 hours later from internal bleeding.
“We were robbed of our final years with our mom,” Royal voiced.
Royal, says the doctor, “totally ignored all of her [mom’s] complaints, resulting in her slow and painful death.”
Wright’s procedure was around 8 a.m. on August 2nd. The results were normal.
However around 10 p.m. that night, she was in pain.
By 4 a.m., she had signs of distress and she was pale with slurred speech.
At 5:14 a.m. she was dead.
“When situations like this happen, the greater concern is the system…what’s happening in that hospital,” Aaron Woods, who is an attorney, said.
Royal's complaint led to federal inspectors finding the hospital to have an unsafe patient care environment.
The federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid put the entire facility on immediate jeopardy, which means all patients at the facility could be considered at risk.
But before this happened, doctors performed 348 more colonoscopies, with no change in care.
Since then the hospital has made corrections but the hospital isn’t in the clear. Inspectors will be back one more time unannounced.
The family just hopes the changes are permanent, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“It’s been really tough, grief is always hard but when it was unnecessary death and my mom had a slow painful death, that makes it extra hard,” Royal said.
The family doesn’t want what happened to their mom to stop people from getting colonoscopies.
She just urges people to closely monitor the care their loved one is receiving.
The hospital sent a statement saying, "Patient safety is always our first priority, and all of us at Cass Regional – doctors, nurses, other health care professionals and staff – strive to provide the very best care for our patients every day."
"Our hearts and prayers are with the family of Martha Wright."