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Mrs. Danger
10-01-07, 10:48 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A cancer patient says she was left alone in a CT scanner for hours after a technician apparently forget about her, and she finally crawled out of the device, only to find herself locked in the closed clinic.

Elvira Tellez of Tucson said she called her son in a panic, and he told her to call 911.

Pima County sheriff's deputies arriving at the oncology office had her unlock the office door to let them in, said Deputy Dawn Hanke, a department spokeswoman. The deputies contacted the office manager, who was not aware of the situation.

Tellez was taken to a hospital as a precaution, then released early the next day.

Tellez said she's had trouble sleeping since last week's incident. She and her family said they want an explanation from the medical office, Arizona Oncology Associates, but have yet to receive one. She said the technician did call to apologize the next day.

"I don't know what to think," Tellez said in Spanish. "I think and think and think, but I can't understand it."

The executive director of Arizona Oncology Associates, Sonya Hohm, was in a meeting Friday and not immediately available for comment, her assistant said. The assistant said no one else at the statewide medical practice was authorized to comment.

Diagnosed with bone cancer, the 67-year-old Tellez had been sent to the clinic for tests to see if her cancer had spread.

A technician placed her inside the large machine at about 4 p.m. on Sept. 19, dimmed the lights so she could relax and told her not to move during the 25-minute procedure.

"At some point, my mom lost track of time and felt like too much time had passed, but she couldn't look at a clock or anything because it was dark," her son Ariel Tellez said.

After calling out, then screaming for help, she said, she spent several hours trying to free herself from the machine. Finally, she wiggled out from under a heavy blanket and out of the machine. By the time deputies found her, it had been five hours since she was placed inside.

A physician who works at the practice and knew of the incident told The Arizona Daily Star it's not the first time such a thing has happened.

"People have been left in the office after hours, when something like that happens—it's the same sort of thing," Dr. Steven Ketchel said. "My guess is she was lying on the table, waiting and waiting and nobody told her she could go home."


Dr. Steven doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. She could have taken the opportunity to see if she could snitch some rubber gloves or good meds!

10-01-07, 10:54 AM
Fuck that, I would have raided the place! :lol:

10-01-07, 11:02 AM
My mother in law had knee surgery recently, and they put her in some sort of room to wait until they could take post-op xrays. She was in for a couple hours (laying in bed, can't walk), she couldn't read her medication button, or the call nurse button because it was just a temporary place to stash her. Finally a janitor heard her yelling and got somebody.

10-01-07, 11:13 AM
Tit for Tat.....they forget me, I forget about the illegality fo raiding their supplies. :lol:


10-01-07, 01:08 PM
Pima County sheriff's deputies arriving at the oncology office had her unlock the office door to let them inSo the solution to her imprisonment was to have her unlock the door and walk out. -ohbfrank-

10-01-07, 02:08 PM
She was locked in....and couldnt get out..but could open the door to let the police in?

Mrs. Danger
10-01-07, 02:26 PM
She was locked in....and couldnt get out..but could open the door to let the police in?

Maybe it was a weird sort of lock, and she needed instructions. She may also have been afraid of setting off an alarm if she opened the door sooner. I would have been worried about that. "Honestly, I'm not breaking in, I'm breaking out!"

10-02-07, 12:20 PM
Let me guess, she's gonna sue for $10 million now....

10-02-07, 07:17 PM
Let me guess, she's gonna sue for $10 million now....

Duh, 10 million is nothing for mental anguish, the fact that she will never be able to lie on a flat surface without having terrors, and the fact that she was going to play the lotto that day with the same numbers that were drawn. Oh, and she missed her best friends ......... that day (fill in blank with funeral, birthday, etc).

10-02-07, 09:50 PM
Stick the forgetful tech in the machine on Friday, turn it on, turn out all lights, lock him in and ignore his screams as his body slowly melts into Monday. Jvstice.


10-02-07, 10:47 PM
Let me guess, she's gonna sue for $10 million now....

there should be some punitive damages

10-04-07, 04:57 AM
She actually got off pretty easy compared to plenty of mishaps that result in damage or even death to the patient.

Mr. Salty
10-04-07, 05:32 AM
I have a couple of friends and relatives who have undergone cancer treatment over the last three years (actually, one of them has gone through it twice). Worrying that you're going to die of cancer is stressful and terrifying in itself, and all of the time spent in doctor's office undergoing tests is enough to put anyone on edge. Something like this would just make things worse.

I don't know what this woman deserves in the way of compensation, but she deserves something, especially if the clinic admits that this has happened before and they apparently haven't taken steps to correct the problem. If there is a lawsuit the clinic should be glad that I won't be sitting on the jury.

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