Medical Verdicts

Bladder perforation missed during laparoscopy


Cook County (Ill) Circuit Court

A 34-year-old woman underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy due to suspected endometriosis.

Following the procedure, the woman was sent home despite failure to void. Once home, she complained of severe abdominal pain, along with excessive fluid draining from the incision site. The patient’s husband called the nurse for assistance. The nurse was told by the doctor to prescribe Tylenol #3.

A few hours later, the woman went to a hospital where she was diagnosed with a perforated bladder, peritonitis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). She required a laparotomy to suture the bladder perforation.

In suing, the woman claimed that the physician failed to recognize the perforation and sent her home despite her inability to void. She further contended that the physician did not handle the emergency call properly.

The physician contended that bladder perforation was a known complication of the procedure. Further, the doctor argued that since postoperative pain is expected, the phone call was handled properly.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $409,090.
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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