Patient Sues Hospital Over Disinfectant Burns

Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 20:12:33-05

A patient has sued University Medical Center in Lebanon over what he claims happened during a visit to the emergency room. 

A lawnmower accident left two three-inch gashes a quarter inch deep in Billy Pemberton's arm. It was painful and required stitches, but he said what happened next at the hospital made things even worse.

"It was on fire. Just burning. Non-stop on fire," said Pemberton. "This is outright malpractice if there ever was one. There's no excuse for it," said attorney Clint Kelly.

Pemberton and his wife rushed to emergency at University Medical Center in Lebanon. "There's mistakes and there's bad mistakes. This is a bad mistake," said Kelly.

Kelly has filed a lawsuit. He said the doctor and staff in emergency went to clean the wound before stitching Pemberton up.

Nothing wrong with that, except the lawsuit alleges the hospital used a product called CaviCide. "This is a federally regulated toxic substance," said Kelly.

CaviCide is a disinfectant used to clean hospitals, but, "It says in black and white not to be used in humans," said Kelly.

According to the lawsuit, the CaviCide bottle was left in an examination room and the chemical was used on Pemberton's arm.

"The doctor sprayed it. Stitched it up," said Pemberton. He said he was in agony. He said the burning far worse than anything he'd ever felt before from an antiseptic.

"I grabbed the bottle went into the hallways and said to a nurse is this okay if I spray this on an open wound and she said no," said Pemberton.

At that point, Kelly says the hospital staff knew what happened. "They call it an accident, but the mistake was recognized," said Kelly.

According to the lawsuit, the doctor and staff then removed the stitches, rinsed the wound, and re-sutured it.

Yet, Pemberton said he still needed to be treated for chemical burns. "All of it is just blistered red," he said.

Months later, the arm has healed, but there are scares from both the cut and the burns.

"It was in an emergency room and the product of sloppy care," said Kelly who has sued the hospital for negligence.

Lawyers for University Medical Center declined to comment for our story because of the pending litigation.