Medical Verdicts

Could hysterectomy following uterine atony have been avoided?


 

New York County (NY) Supreme Court

A woman presented to a hospital for delivery. Following a normal vaginal birth, the patient began to hemorrhage as a result of uterine atony.

The physician performed a dilatation and curettage procedure, which was ineffective. A hysterectomy was thus required.

In suing, the patient claimed that the physician failed to properly monitor and record findings of fundal firmness and vaginal bleeding, and failed to record blood pressure and pulse every 10 to 15 minutes, as was hospital policy. She argued that the uterine atony was not treated in a timely manner, thus necessitating a hysterectomy.

The physician argued that the woman was appropriately treated, adding that she was given fundal massage following delivery, her bleeding was treated with carboprost tromethamine and methylergonovine maleate, and she was administered blood and platelets.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the defense.
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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