A woman in California who has suffered back pain for 14 years after giving birth to her son has now discovered that a part of an epidural needle was embedded in her spine for over a decade, reports said Wednesday.
Amy Bright, 41, gave birth to her sixth and youngest son Jacob by a caesarean section at a Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2003.
However, two months after her C-section delivery she started experiencing severe back pain that continued for more than a decade. In November 2017, a CT scan showed a 3 centimeter-long chunk of needle stuck in her spine, according to the Daily Mail.
The needle had reportedly broken off when she was given an epidural 14 years earlier and she said it caused extensive nerve damage along with severe back pain, leaving her with limited use of her left leg and foot, according to reports.
“I was absolutely livid and upset and scared, every time I move and walk and bend and twist and sleep, that needle moves inside my spine. For 14 years, I’ve been creating scar tissue in my spine from this needle moving. I’m angry,” Bright, of De Soto, Illinois, told People.
Bright and her attorney, Sean Cronin, claimed that the Florida hospital knew it had broken off and became “trapped” but neglected to do anything about it even though the severe damage could have been avoided if it was removed at the time of her C-section.
“This is something that was not disclosed,” Cronin said. “These needles are about 9 or 10 centimeter’s and they have a tip on the end that the provider is supposed to inspect to make sure they have the whole needle.”
“They knew this was in her, according to our experts, because so much of the needle was missing. And the safety tip is still in her,” he added.
Cronin claimed that if the needle would have been removed immediately 14 years ago, the pain and nerve damage his client felt could have been avoided, but taking it out now could leave Bright paralyzed for the rest of her life.
Bright added that now she will have to rely on pain medication and physical therapy in order to manage the damage caused for the rest of her life.
“It has gotten to the point where it just burns constantly. I’m very scared of my future. [My leg] is getting weaker,” Bright said. “I’m probably going to be in a wheelchair. It’s scary because I don’t know.”
“I don’t know what my future holds. I’m very paranoid and scared,” she said.
Over the years Bright has consulted several doctors and been prescribed pain killers, muscle relaxants and other medications to cope with her back pain.
“It feels like fire, like a poker next to my tailbone. On occasion, it shoots down the left side of my leg on my calf, and then down and into my foot,” Bright explained.
Doctors initially had suspected the pain was due to sciatica, a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that travel down the lower back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg that is typically said to be treated with an epidural shot.
The CT scan conducted on Bright last fall was intended to diagnose the sciatica, but revealed the needle buried in her spine.
Bright said she hasn’t spoken to her children about the problem as she wants to shield them from it, particularly Jacob, who is now 14 years old.
At least 14 lawsuits have been filed against the Florida hospital since 2004, and Bright will be the 15th person to sue the hospital for its acts of ignorance.
In 2005, a judge had awarded $40 million to a family of a two-year-old, who sustained brain damage after the hospital did not perform a C-section at the right time.