New York doctors reportedly left breathing tube in patient for 30 years

New York doctors reportedly left breathing tube in patient for 30 years

His life nearly collapsed.

Doctors at Elmhurst Medical Center left 10-inch breathing tube in Queens man’s body – and didn’t realize the mistake or retrieve it for 30 more years, lawsuit claims .

“I just feel like… a little angry. Just for the simple fact that they left that in me,” former patient Rene Remache, 39, told The Post. “It could have been worse than the outcome. Thank God I’m still here. I have a beautiful daughter that I might not have raised.

The twisted story began when Remache fell from a second story window in April 1989 when he was just 6 years old. At the time, he was living in Woodside with his grandparents who immigrated from Ecuador.

A scan reveals the tube inside the patient's stomach.
A CT scan reveals the tube inside Rene Remache’s stomach.
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He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital with a fractured skull and was placed on a ventilator and breathing tube. His medical records at the time record that he was “agitated” by the tubes and “pulled” on them. Hours later, according to those same records, he “self-extubated.”

Remache says it’s the only time in his life he’s been given such a tube and his lawyers are convinced he swallowed some or all of the device in Elmhurst – and his doctors haven’t noticed.

Over the years, Remache says he suffered from intermittent stomach ailments – often receiving treatment at Elmhurst, but to no avail. Remache, which has long relied on Medicaid for medical coverage, said the hospital never performed a test that could have discovered the tube during its various trips to the emergency room.

“I had a few visits to the hospital because of my stomach, vomiting and pain and I really had no idea where it came from and I finally decided to treat it as just a problem with my stomach. stomach and stop going there. . Nobody could tell me what it was,” he said.

Things came to a head during a family trip to Mexico in 2019 when Remache says he started feeling worse than usual.

“It was a weird sensation in my chest and throat that I had never felt before and it just felt like there was something stuck there, something that was really bothering my breathing” , he recalls. A Mexican clinic said he had bronchitis and sent him home with antibiotics, but the problem persisted.

A doctor holding the recovered tube.
A doctor holds the retrieved tube.
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René Remache in the hospital.
René Remache in the hospital.
Document Pictures

When he was back in New York, a CT scan at Mt. Sinai Medical Center finally found the culprit – the old tube lying inside along the greater curvature of his stomach. Remache said he was shocked.

“My jaw just dropped. I had no idea how he got there,” Remache said.

The endotracheal tube was eventually removed by surgeons at Maimonides Medical Center on June 24, 2019. Remache had to file a lawsuit to have the facility turn over the recovered tube so he could use it as evidence in his lawsuit for malpractice against Elmhurst and its owner. , New York City Health and Hospitals.

Remache said he is happy to be healthy now and to raise his daughter.
Remache is happy to be healthy now and to raise his daughter.
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In legal documents, the city insists the tube found in Remache in 2019 is different from the one he was allegedly intubated with as a child in Elmhurst.

Health and Hospitals declined to comment, but repeatedly refused to settle the case, said Peter Traub, attorney for Remache. A trial date has been set for October 11.

Remache says he plans to frame the tube when the litigation is over.

“I’m going to keep it as a keepsake of something that could have ended my life but didn’t and tell my story for my daughter,” he said.

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