Man enters local hospital able to walk, leaves paralyzed; files - KMOV.com

Man enters local hospital able to walk, leaves paralyzed; files lawsuit

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(KMOV.com) - A visit to the hospital is supposed to make you feel better, even offer you hope for a better life, but one man's medical nightmare occurred when he checked into a local hospital.

Aaron Allen was always active, but he had a blood disorder that threatened his health. In October, he walked into Barnes-Jewish Hospital for treatment that would give him hope for a better life. Instead, he left in a wheelchair, paralyzed for life.

"What happened in that hospital ruined my life," Allen said.

According to a lawsuit recently filed against Barnes-Jewish Hospital, two doctors and Washington University, Allen arrived at Barnes suffering from potentially dangerous blood clots in his right leg.

During the first few days, he received a series of medical procedures that included a medical device that was inserted into veins of his leg and blood thinners that would help break up clots. He also had a tiny surgical balloon inserted and stents were put in.

According to the lawsuit, the procedure caused spontaneous bleeding in Allen's spine. Within six hours after the final procedure, Allen said he began complaining about numbness and tingling in both legs. According to his medical records, Allen also told the nurse he couldn't move his legs.

"I probably told them 2-3 times that something was wrong, but they just like kind of ignored me," said Allen.

Aaron Allen's attorney, Ken Vuylsteke says medical records show a doctor returned at 8:30 a.m. and realized the problem was more serious. Vuylsteke said Allen wasn't taken to an operating room for emergency surgery until 4:00 p.m.

"By the time they got him into an operating room to decompress or get the blood out of his spine it was too late and Aaron Allen was paralyzed for life," said Vuylsteke.

Vuylsteke said Aaron's case is more complicated because medical records show he was part of a Washington University medical study examining the effectiveness of the procedures used on him.

Vuylsteke said that study had guidelines for performing the procedures and that Allen's blood was too thin for consideration in that study. Vuylsteke also said Allen should have been "excluded" for that reason because it put him at greater risk for a spontaneous bleed.

When Vuylsteke looked for a signed patient consent for the study, there was none. Allen said he didn't consent to being part of the study.

A spokesman for Barnes-Jewish Hospital said the hospital would not no comment on the case because it's part of a lawsuit.

News 4 also contacted Washington University for comment, but a spokesman did not respond.

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