NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For must of us, hospital stays are stressful enough. But what if something unimaginable happened?
Virginia Cabral went for a simple procedure but left with a mystery injury and, for the last two years, has been wondering what exactly happened.
“Sometimes I have difficulty talking, sometimes walking,” she said. “Sometimes I just daze.”
The reason, Cabral claims, is that she was dropped on her head during a planned surgery at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey for a herniated disc in her neck.
Attorney Anthony Macri says photos show the bump and residual bleeding that took place after the trauma.
“There are enough references to this having happened in the hospital record which can’t be explained in any other way other than she was dropped while she was still unconscious from the anesthesia,” Macri said.
“I felt like my head exploded and I put my hand back there and there was dried blood,” she said.
What was supposed to be an outpatient procedure turned into a three-day stay. Doctors ordered a CT scan of her head, which came back normal, and an MRI of her shoulder which showed a torn rotator cuff — something Cabral says she didn’t have when she went in.
So why is she so convinced she was dropped on her head?
“You put two and two together, it had to have happened,” she said.
Macri claims there’s more evidence as well.
“There’s usually an incident report, it’s normally mentioned in the discharge summary and other places in the hospital record and yet there’s no such records,” he said.
Medical policy expert Alison Vredenburgh says when these things happen, it can either be mechanical or human error.
“The table itself might malfunction, some places might have older equipment and can unexpectedly tilt,” she said. “Occasionally either the locks fail or they perhaps don’t lock them or secure them well and the beds might separate and the patient might fall between them.”
CBS2 reached out to the hospital and Cabral’s doctor. Both have refused to comment.
Cabral’s wishes are simple.
“Fess up for what you did, compensate me, and find out what’s really going on with me and give me some sort of life better than what I have now,” she said.