An acupuncture therapy visit at a local establishment left Caymanian Debbie Pennington-Ebanks with a collapsed lung, a potentially fatal medical emergency.
Mrs. Pennington-Ebanks had returned to work, after the acupuncture procedure when she begun to have difficulty breathing. 911 was called and she was transported by ambulance to the HSA where an x-ray was done confirming that her left lung had collapsed.
Health Services Authority (HSA) surgeons Dr. Omar Felix and Dr. Shomari Blake responded promptly to the referral from the emergency room physician, Dr. Sean Teeling, especially considering how quickly a patient’s condition can deteriorate and become fatal if left untreated. They performed an insertion of a thoracostomy tube, a common and standard treatment for this condition. They used a minimally invasive technique to reduce Mrs. Pennington-Ebanks’ pain, discomfort and improve cosmetic outcome.
A collapsed lung, otherwise known as a pneumothorax, is not a rare injury but it is uncommon for the injury to occur as a complication of acupuncture. It can also rapidly become fatal.
“I’m not one to commend people. I’m usually very critical, but the service I experienced at the Cayman Islands Hospital was beyond outstanding. I want to recognise and commend the HSA and its doctors for the quality of care and treatment I received,” said Mrs. Pennington-Ebanks.
“The procedure went well. She went home in a few days once we had confirmed that her lung was fully inflated and the pneumothorax was completely resolved,” Dr. Felix noted.
Mrs. Pennington-Ebanks recalled the hospital’s excellent follow-up care. “The doctors checked on me every day and physiotherapy started working with me the following morning of the procedure.”
“It was the most traumatic experience of my life, but the kindness, empathy, professionalism and dedication our public hospital demonstrated during my care reassured me that I was in good hands and contributed significantly to my recovery.”