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    OB ignores nursing supervisor, fractures infant’s skull



    Bladder perforation during hysterectomy

    A gynecologist performed a hysterectomy on a 45-year-old Illinois woman. During the operation the patient’s bladder was perforated, which led to another operation, prolonged hospitalization, pneumonia, and incontinence.

    The woman sued the gynecologist and alleged that the original surgery was unnecessary.

    The gynecologist argued that the patient was properly advised of the various alternatives for treatment based on her physical findings and diagnostic test results, and was told of the risks and benefits of each alternative. He further argued that the patient made an informed choice to have the hysterectomy, which was properly performed, and that the patient suffered a known complication.

    The verdict

    A defense verdict was returned.


    Pudendal neuralgia following vaginal delivery

    An Alabama woman was pregnant with her fourth child and discussed with her obstetrician her desire to labor and deliver in any position other than on her back. The obstetrician agreed to her request. When the patient went into labor and presented to the hospital in 2012, she informed the nurse that her preferred position for labor was on her hands and knees. The nurse informed the patient she had to lie on her back as that was necessary for monitoring the fetus. The patient informed the nurse that her doctor had agreed that she could labor in any position and could be mobile during the monitoring process.

    The patient began having hard contractions and turned over onto hands and knees, and informed the nurse she could not labor on her back. The nurse flipped the patient onto her back by taking her wrists and pulling her hands out from under her. The nurse then delayed the delivery by putting pressure on the fetal head until the doctor could arrive. A second nurse then forcibly pressed the patient’s left knee back toward her chest, leaving her legs in an asymmetric position at the moment of delivery. The obstetrician arrived in time to deliver the baby. Two months later, the patient complained of chronic severe pelvic pain. She was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia and underwent nerve blocks and took pain medication.

    The patient sued the hospital and alleged her condition was the result of tension and compression due to malpositioning of her legs during delivery. She also alleged the condition could be the result of a laceration on the left side of her vaginal wall.

    The nurses denied any breach of the standard of care. They argued that the patient’s injuries, if any, had not been caused by the delivery.

    The verdict

    The jury awarded the woman $16 million in damages.


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