A woman is suing a local healthcare provider for burning her foot so severely that it resulted in its amputation.
Pilar Manglona Deleon Guerrero, through her counsel, Michael Dotts, has filed a civil lawsuit against St. Jude Renal Care for negligence, negligent supervision, negligent training, and medical malpractice after a nurse allegedly placed a heat lamp beside her left foot that later left it severely burned, resulting in the amputation of her leg.
According to the lawsuit, Deleon Guerrero, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, requires dialysis three times a week and has been undergoing dialysis with the St. Jude Renal Care Facility from 2015 to 2020.
During a February 2020 dialysis session, Deleon Guerrero said her lower body felt cold so she asked a nurse for a way to keep warm. However, instead of giving her a blanket, the nurse placed a heating lamp right next to Deleon Guerrero’s left foot. Due to the exhaustion Deleon Guerrero experienced while undergoing dialysis, she fell asleep soon after the heating lamp was set up.
Due to her illness, Deleon Guerrero’s foot was numb to the point that she does not feel pain. In this case, the heating lamp was allegedly placed next to her foot for an extended amount of time and was not removed for her entire dialysis session, which lasted four to five hours.
“The nurse knew or should have known that Deleon Guerrero experiences no feelings in her feet when the heating lamp was placed close to Deleon Guerrero’s left foot,” Dotts said.
According to Dotts, none of the nurses or staff at St. Jude gave Deleon Guerrero instructions on how to manage the lamp, when to contact a nurse, or to check on her feet after a certain period of time.
After her session, Deleon Guerrero’s left toes were allegedly visibly charred by the heating lamp.
“Due to the numbness in her feet and the fact that she was sleeping through the dialysis session, Deleon Guerrero was not aware that her feet, in particular her toes, were burnt during the dialysis session. She discovered the burn injury at the end of the dialysis session after she woke up. She informed the medical staff and the nurse regarding her burn, but the nurses did not attempt to treat her wound or send her to the hospital, all the while knowing or should have known that her diabetes would create serious complication for the healing of her burn injury,” Dotts stated.
On Feb. 24, 2020, Dotts said that Deleon Guerrero went to the Commonwealth Healthcare Center to get the burn checked.
After numerous visits to CHCC, Deleon Guerrero’s post-burn foot ulcer was removed on April 1, 2020. Due to complication of her diabetes, the healing process of her left foot was not successful and sometime in April 2020, the top of her second left toe allegedly fell off by itself.
Partial amputation of her left foot was subsequently performed on May 15, 2020.
Deleon Guerrero then had numerous follow-up appointments for her burn injury and amputation from May 2020 to December 2020 at CHCC, but the condition of her left foot did not improve following the amputation, in part due to her diabetes.
On Dec. 29, 2020, the removal of the dead tissue on her left toe was performed, but her left toe did not get better.
On Jan. 7, 2021, an operation was performed to remove her left toe.
On Jan. 12, 2021, the plaintiff was referred to Guam to be seen by a foot specialist.
Due to a series of problems that allegedly originated from the burn injury she sustained at St. Jude, she went into surgery and her left leg below the knee was amputated in Guam on Feb. 22, 2021.
Dotts alleges that the infection that caused the amputation of Deleon Guerrero’s left leg spread to her right leg, causing her to undergo amputation of her right leg above the knee.
Soon after, due to her wounds not healing property, both of her legs were amputated a second time. The left leg was amputated a second time above the knee, and the right leg was amputated a second time to her mid-thigh.