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Paramedic Error Causes Woman to Lose Arm

In January of 2006 South Daytona resident, Marie Caschetta called 911 due to a severe stomachache.

Instead of getting the support and care she was looking for, 84 year-old Caschetta wound up losing most of her arm due to medical negligence.

Lethal Mistake

Caschetta claims that paramedic Louana Mangan with the Volusia County Ambulance service wrongly gave her a drug that caused gangrene.

The drug injected at the time, known as Phenergan, is used to ease nausea. If it’s accidentally injected into an artery as opposed to a vein or muscle, it can potentially make arteries shut down, causing gangrene.

“I told her, ‘Don’t honey, my veins roll,” explains Caschetta, meaning that her veins sometimes move or unexpectedly collapse. “She just said, ‘Don’t be so dramatic,’ and gave me the shot.”

Unwanted Consequences

Caschetta has since undergone three amputations, each time losing a different portion of her arm.

“I lost my whole life that day,” she states. “I went in for a tummy-ache and came out without a hand. I’m an invalid.”

She is learning each day to live her life the best she can with only one arm.

“I have to ask for help putting on my earrings, taking a shower, opening cans.” She opens bottles by wedging the container between her feet and twisting the cap with one hand.
 
“It’s been hard on all of us,” says her husband, Arthur, 87, who says the couple is in constant worry of how they will pay their $100,000 in medical bills. “But we survive it. She’s my baby.”

Action Being Taken

Caschetta is suing for an undisclosed amount of money. She wants EVAC to change its policy so nobody is given the medication unless it’s a life-or-death situation.

“This never should have happened to me, but now all I want is to make sure this never happens to anyone else. Nobody should have to go through what I have.”

Not the First Time

Similar suits have been filed nationwide due to Phenergen. Many claim that they have lost fingers and limbs after the drug was accidentally injected into an artery.

In 2000, a Vermont woman successfully sued drug manufacturer Wyeth for $7.4 million for failing to warn her of the potential dangers of the drug.

(Source: http://www.jems.com/news/285770/)

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