Woman discharged from Missouri hospital with needle lodged in hand

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by BELO Affiliate

Sarah Heath / KMOV.com

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

(KMOV) --  A woman called News 4 moments after doctors sent her home from a Jefferson County hospital with an IV needle and tubing still lodged in her hand.

The woman, Wendi Elliott, was discharged around 4 p.m. on Wednesday from Mercy Jefferson Hospital. Elliott traveled back to her De Soto home after spending two days at Mercy Jefferson for stomach cramps. She was discharged at 1:30 p.m. 

According to her, no one at the hospital, not even the nurses, seemed concerned about the needle in her hand.

"She looked at it and said it was a piece of tape and just take it off when you get home when the bleeding stops.  What did you think?  Honestly, I thought she was out of her mind, I looked at her and my arm and I looked at my daughter and went OK, what am I supposed to do, they're the professionals, not me,” said Elliott.

After coming home, it didn’t take long for friends and her family as well as her doctor to tell her that just wasn’t right.

While she was on the phone with a News 4 producer, hospital staff started calling her frantically asking her to come back.

News 4 was there when she traveled back to the hospital where she filmed as a nurse finally removed the needle.

A spokesperson for Mercy Jefferson Hospital made it clear to News 4’s Matt Sczesny that there’s a process in place for discharging patients and believe that their process was followed on Wednesday even though a patient was told to leave with half-a-foot of tubing and a needle in her arm. 

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