Medical Verdicts

Patient blames undetected infection for hysterectomy


Dutchess County(Ny) Supreme Court—After suffering a miscarriage on March 18, a woman underwent dilatation and evacuation (D & E). Following the procedure, she experienced lower abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding, and dyspareunia. A hysterosalpingogram was performed on May 26. Later that year, she developed pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy. Two years later, a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy were performed.

In suing, the woman claimed that she developed an upper-reproductive-tract infection as a result of the hysterosalpingogram, which went undetected and led to PID. In addition, she argued that the obstetrician should have conducted diagnostic tests and prescribed antibiotics, thereby eliminating the need for hysterectomy.

The physician maintained that the patient had no signs or symptoms of an upper-reproductive-tract infection during her pelvic examinations; therefore, no testing was necessary. The defendant also argued that the patient did not suffer from PID but claimed the pathology report following her hysterectomy showed adenomyosis.

The jury returned a defense verdict.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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