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    Legally Speaking: Tubal ligation failure results in wrongful pregnancy claim


    Compartment syndrome in lower leg following delivery

    A 45-year-old Washington woman was 42 weeks pregnant in 2010 when she was admitted to the hospital in labor after a failed attempt at a home birth. The baby was delivered about 4 1/2 hours after her arrival. The next day the patient complained of shin and leg pain, but was able to ambulate and dorsiflex her foot. On the morning of discharge, the patient was offered the choice to stay in the hospital for evaluation by a neurologist or discharge with outpatient follow up if her symptoms continued. The patient left the hospital. After she got home, her symptoms worsened, with increased swelling in her leg and foot, followed by inability to ambulate or dorsiflex her foot with color changes in the leg. She returned to the hospital and was evaluated in the emergency room and diagnosed with compartment syndrome of the right leg. That day, she underwent a fasciotomy. She continues to suffer foot drop, irregular gait, and right hip pain.

    The verdict

    A $3,500 settlement was reached.


    Dawn Collins, JD
    MS COLLINS is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, California. She welcomes feedback on this column via ...


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