WHEELING -- A recent mother is suing over the delay in being finally diagnosed with a potentially paralyzing spinal condition.
Allie Baugh and Chris Baugh of St. Clairsville, Ohio filed a complaint June 30 in Ohio Circuit Court against Wheeling Hospital Inc., Women's Health Specialists of Wheeling Hospital LLC, Express Scripts Inc., Express Scripts Pharmaceutical Procurement LLC, Medco Health Solutions Inc., Accredo Health Group Inc. and several unidentified pharmaceutical workers.
On Sept. 17, 2013, Allie Baugh delivered via C-section a healthy baby boy at Wheeling Hospital with the help of employees of Woman's Health Specialists. She received an epidural during delivery, the lawsuit states, which numbed her from the middle of her back down.
On Sept. 24, 2013, Baugh started suffering a burning sensation while urinating, the lawsuit states, so she contacted her doctor, an employee of the defendants. She was prescribed a medication to treat an infection of her urinary tract. Her symptoms didn't improve, the lawsuit states, so she visited the same doctor on Oct. 2, 2013, and the doctor determined via urinalysis that she wasn't suffering from an infection. She was told to stop taking the antibiotics. A day later, she began experiencing a severe headache, as well as numbness and tingling in her feet. Her doctor told her only to rest, the lawsuit states.
On Oct. 4, Baugh awakened to discover that she was numb from her lower back to her feet, the lawsuit states, but her doctor told her that she was merely experiencing stress and/or changes in her hormones. She was prescribed Flexeril and told to rest and maybe get a massage, the lawsuit states.
On Oct. 6, she started having trouble urinating; on Oct. 7, her symptoms became even worse, and she began to experience leg spasms.
She then went to the emergency room at Wheeling, where another doctor emptied her bladder via catheter and also told her that her symptoms were the result of changing hormones.
The next day, however, she returned to the emergency room and another doctor ordered additional tests. A CT scan and MRI, according to the lawsuit, revealed that she was suffering instead from transverse myelitis, which is a potentially paralyzing inflammation of the spinal cord.
After being transferred to another hospital, she was told that serious lesions appeared along her spine requiring treatment from a drug called Rituxan, the lawsuit states. But the couple's insurance plan informed them that they weren't covered for the drug and it had to be ordered from a specialty pharmacy.
After paying $14,422.97 for the drug, it was finally shipped a few weeks later. She didn't receive the drug until November.
The plaintiff, citing negligence, pain and suffering, additional injury and medical expense, seeks unspecified damages, attorneys' fees and court costs. Her husband, citing loss of consortium, also seeks unspecified damages.
The plaintiff is represented by Robert P. Lorea of Bailey and Glasser LLP in Charleston.
Ohio Circuit Court case number 15C195.