Rosangela Pureza Cavalcante entered the Public Regional Hospital of Marajó, in Pará, to undergo surgery on her collarbone after having suffered a motorcycle accident. However, upon waking up, the 42-year-old woman from Pará discovered that the medical team had removed her uterus.
“In the operating room I was identified with a bracelet with my name. I thought it was in the arm (region close to the clavicle) that they were going to do the operation. They didn’t ask my name, nothing. They just said they would do the anesthesia”, said the woman.
The operational error occurred on January 24th. Two days later, the family registered a report at the Breves police station, on Marajó Island. The Civil Police are investigating the case and say witnesses must be heard.
The Pará State Department of Public Health (Sespa) said that the professionals involved in the episode were preliminarily removed and which investigates the case with the Social Health Organization that manages the unit.
Rosangela fell off her motorcycle on January 18th and immediately sought care at the Emergency Care Unit (UPA), in Breves. When taking an x-ray, she found that she broke her collarbone — a bone in the shoulder that connects the chest to the upper limb.
On the same day, the UPA team sent the patient to the Marajó Regional Hospital. She was admitted to the unit at around 10:30 am and stayed there until the 24th, when she underwent surgery.
Rosangela’s brother and daughter-in-law took turns as companions during her hospitalization. But, on the day of the surgery, the daughter-in-law was prevented from attending the procedure, according to the family’s report..
After the effects of the anesthesia, Rosangela woke up and asked her brother to see if the operation was carried out, as she didn’t notice anything. Desperation came immediately after she passed her hand over her belly and felt pain and the marks of surgical stitches..
“I went to touch my arm (the region close to the collarbone), but there was no surgery, there was just something strange and I was very nervous. Then I reached down and saw the surgery on my stomach and I became more desperate,” she recalled.
Rosangela stated that she told two nursing technicians that the surgery performed was wrong and they responded: “The important thing is that the surgery was performed on the lady“, said.
The victim’s brother, who was waiting for her, immediately demanded an explanation from the hospital. After that, other patients who shared the room with Rosangela were removed from the room.
The conversation that took place between Rosangela, her brother and the medical team was recorded by one of the family members.
According to the recording provided by Rosângela’s family, doctor Lígia Sant’ana Bonisson entered the scene, identified herself by her first name, and said that an “misconception”, a change in patient identification. According to Lígia, a nurse identified Rosangela as Maria and sent her to her room, with the medical records changed..
“Yesterday the block was busy and surgery had been performed on an 80-year-old woman who was awaiting another surgery, which was to remove the uterus. And yesterday, look what happened, there was a change of identification”, said the doctor in the recording.
Regarding Maria, according to the recording, she had the surgery cancelled. Rosangela, who still had a fractured collarbone, starts crying after finding out what happened.
“What I want you to understand is that there will be no harm […] in the sense that you will avoid cervical cancer, you will not have bleeding, you will not go through menopause. The only thing that will happen is not menstruating”, said Lígia Bonisson.
At one point, the doctor asked if Rosangela understood what happened and she replied: “I was waiting for a collarbone operation. I work, I have four children who depend on me”, referring to the time it will take to recover.
“It won’t change anything in terms of your post-operative period. The same time you would rest for your shoulder is the period of abdominal surgery”, said Lígia.
On January 25, Rosangela returned to the operating room once again to have the correct operation done on her clavicle. However, this time the hospital allowed someone from the family to follow the procedure. On the 27th, she was discharged.
The hospital provided a hospital-owned vehicle to take her to her mother’s house, where she lives with three of their four children. Rosangela’s mother, an elderly woman, also suffers from what happened to her daughter.
“My mother is there, crying along with my sister. My sister went out to have collarbone surgery and returned to my mother’s house like this. It was she, my sister, who worked and helped my mother with the household income. My mother, an elderly person, is the one taking care of my sister”, said a family member who preferred to remain anonymous.
According to Rosangela, the Marajó Regional Public Hospital did not offer, until this Friday (2), any post-operative emotional or health support. The unit only prescribed some medications on January 27th.
“I have my children who started studying and are missing classes. I can’t take care of my children. I see this situation and it is very difficult for me. […] I feel angry, because they practically stopped my life”, said the victim.
The Marajó Public Regional Hospital is a unit in the State of Pará, managed through the Social Health Organization (OSS) National Institute for Social and Human Development (INDSH).
According to the Pará State Department of Public Health (Sespa), the agency “is providing support to the patient, with multidisciplinary care and outpatient follow-up”. Rosangela’s family, however, disputes this and says that she has not received post-operative support since leaving the hospital.
O g1 contacted the National Institute of Social and Human Development and until the publication of this report had not received a response. O g1 also contacted doctor Lígia Sant’ana Bonisson by email, sending a request for positioning and awaiting a response.
The Regional Council of Medicine of Pará (CRM) reported that “it established the due investigative procedure”. “The CRM-PA emphasizes that, according to article 1 of the Code of Ethical-Professional Process, the procedures carried out in the Regional Offices are confidential”.
In a statement, the Regional Nursing Council of Pará (Coren) said “it was not officially aware of the case. However, upon being informed, through the press, of the occurrence of the fact, and the possible participation of a nurse, the president of Coren-PA ordered the initiation of an administrative process to investigate the professional’s participation”.
According to Coren-PA, “if, after the broad right of defense and contradiction, there is proof of the participation of the said professional in the episode, she may be punished, as provided for in the Code of Ethics for Nursing Professionals, including the application of the penalty of revocation of the right to professional practice”.
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