A Hospital Ignored Her Purple Bracelet. Now She's Suing

Jamie Sams says she made her DNR wishes clear
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2018 2:22 PM CST
Updated Nov 24, 2018 1:30 PM CST
A stock image of an empty hospital corridor.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Jamie Sams is alive, and she's suing over that fact. The Albuquerque Journal reports the New Mexico woman has sued Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center over what she alleges were two acts of negligence that occurred at the Santa Fe hospital in 2016. Per the suit, Sams went to the hospital's ER on Feb. 5 of that year to be treated for pain related to Dercum's disease, which she suffers from. Though she claims she advised the staff that she was allergic to the opioid Dilaudid, it was administered to her via IV in the first alleged act of negligence. Then came the second.

Sams says she had an allergic reaction to the pain medication and went into cardiac arrest as a result. The staff resuscitated her even though she had signed a double Do Not Resuscitate form and "adamantly did not want" to be revived. (The Santa Fe New Mexican reports it's unclear what a "double DNR" refers to, but says it could indicate she had two directives in place, one via the hospital and one via her estate planner.) Further, "Plaintiff Sams was wearing a purple bracelet issued by the hospital and labeled 'DNR.'" The suit, which names Christus and an ER doctor as defendants, says she is forced to continue to live with "severe pain ... and limitations" and will bear significant medical costs for the rest of her life. (One man's DNR tattoo caused a great deal of confusion.)

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