Jury decides Aiken Regional Medical Centers has to pay $13.75M to triple amputee

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An Aiken County jury has decided Aiken Regional Medical Centers has to pay a triple amputee $13.75 million in damages in a medical malpractice case, court documents state.

The lawsuit states Seletha Gartrell, of Aiken, lost both her legs above the knee, her left arm below the elbow and fingers from her right hand.

According to court records, Aiken Regional Medical Centers must pay Gartrell $10 million in economic damages and $3.75 million of non-economic damages totaling at $13.75 million. The judgement was issued on March 1, 2017.

Aiken Regional said Thursday: "The patient entered our facility with two life-threatening conditions, one of which caused her to have cardiac arrest. We strongly disagree with the jury's decision. Our nursing staff and physicians gave her the best of care that saved her life."

The original complaint said Seletha Gartrell went to the emergency room at Aiken Regional Medical Centers on Dec. 6, 2012 with severe sepsis which is a dangerous and sometimes deadly infection.

It claims her initial nurses didn’t properly triage her and did not give adequate fluids or prescribe antibiotics. According to the complaint, Gartrell wasn’t given antibiotics until 14 hours after being admitted.

“Mrs. Gartrells’ care was below the standard of care in pretty much all of the particulars above,” the complaint said.

Gartrell was transferred to MUSC and had both her legs amputated, her left arm below the elbow and fingers from her right hand. According to the complaint, “the injuries to Mrs. Gartrell were the direct and proximate result of and were caused and occasioned by the negligence, carelessness, recklessness, willfulness and wantonness on the part of the defendants.”