Danville (Va) Circuit Court
Following the delivery of her third child, a 37-year-old woman suffered uterine atony leading to intermittent bleeding. Over the next several hours, the patient:
- received bimanual compressions with fundal massage, oxytocin, methylergonovine, and carboprost;
- underwent an emergency dilatation and curettage, after tests revealed disseminated intravascular coagulation and her vital signs began deteriorating;
- received further fundal massage, misoprostol, packed red blood cells, normal saline, Ringer’s lactate, and hetastarch;
- underwent an emergency hysterectomy.
Though stable after surgery, the woman developed a cardiac arrhythmia and died due to a myocardial infarction.
In suing, plaintiffs claimed the defendant was negligent for his failure to consult a hematologist, follow up on lab results, and transfuse a sufficient amount of clotting factors before starting the hysterectomy.
The doctor claimed these actions would not have altered the outcome, noting that the woman’s blood volume was replaced nearly 7 times during the events.
- The jury returned a defense verdict