Articles Posted in Obstetrician Errors

Ms. Doe underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy that was performed by Dr. Roe, an obstetrician; she was discharged the same day.

She contacted the doctor’s office over the next few days, complaining that she felt ill and was experiencing pain. Four days after the surgery, Doe went to a hospital emergency room where a CT scan showed an accumulation of fluid in her pelvis. Surgery located a hole in Doe’s sigmoid colon, which necessitated a colostomy.

Doe also was later diagnosed as having an injured right ureter. Doe required a colostomy bag for ten months. She also required surgery to treat several incisional hernias.
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Hope Johnson, 20, was a student who was considering hormonal birth control. In doing so, she underwent a blood test to determine whether she was at risk for blood clots. Although the test for Factor V Leiden was positive for a clotting mutation, Johnson’s treating ob/gyn told her that her Factor V Leiden results were normal.

About one month later, after starting birth control pills, she went to Auburn Urgent Care complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, headache and sore throat. She told the staff there that she was taking birth control pills. Dr. Zenon Bednarski, the owner and supervising physician of the clinic, diagnosed Ms. Johnson with pneumonia and bronchitis after an X-ray was taken. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and sent Johnson home to return only if her condition worsened.

Ms. Johnson returned to the clinic two days later when her chest pain and shortness of breath became much worse. She reported these symptoms to newly hired Dr. David Willis who ordered a CBC (complete blood count), which showed an oxygen saturation level of 91. Dr. Willis performed no physical exam. He was unable to access Johnson’s medical chart from the previous clinic visit, diagnosed a high white blood count and shortness of breath and prescribed an inhaler. The very next day, Hope Johnson died of massive pulmonary emboli. She was survived by her parents and two siblings.
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Lilia Torres, 34, began spotting during the eighth week of her pregnancy. She went to a hospital where she had an ultrasound. She later followed up with her treating obstetrician after receiving a diagnosis of placental previa and possible placental accrete, a condition in which the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall. For the remaining period of her pregnancy, she saw several obstetricians and midwives at the same medical practice.

At 39 weeks of gestation, two of the obstetricians performed a cesarean section the day after the procedure was scheduled. After the delivery, Torres suffered massive blood loss.

Torres, who lost at least ten liters of blood, suffered cardiogenic and pulmonary shock. Shortly afterward, she died of complications of hemorrhagic shock and multi-organ failure. She was survived by her husband and her four minor children.
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago has affirmed the dismissal of a Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit sounding in medical malpractice filed by plaintiff Anna Chronis. She claimed that in June 2015, when she visited the University of Illinois Mile Square Health Center for her annual physical examination, the pap smear procedure did not detect cervical cancer. However, the procedure allegedly caused an injury, pain and bruising, she claimed.

After her Pap smear procedure, she claimed she tried to follow up with her physician, Dr. Tamika Alexander, but was unable to reach her. The complaint stated that the Health Center did not return Chronis’s calls or allow her to make a follow-up appointment. Chronis filed a written complaint with the health center’s grievance committee, requesting $332 for the expenses that she incurred because of the pap smear injury. But after reviewing her letter complaint, the Health Center rejected her request.

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was dismissed when the district court judge found that Chronis had decided not to exhaust her administrative remedies because she had chosen not to make a sum certain demand to the appropriate federal agency before filing her lawsuit.
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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of Chicago held that a prior acts exclusion under an insurance policy issued by a professional liability insurer to a medical-practice insurer excluded coverage. The exclusion was ruled legal only if the medical-malpractice insurer committed an actual wrongful act, not just if it was accused of committing such an act.

MedPro, the insured medical malpractice carrier in this case, was represented by Clyde & Co., LLP of Washington, D.C. The professional liability insurer was American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co. (AISLIC).

MedPro issued medical-malpractice coverage to Dr. Benny Phillips, subject to a $200,000 liability limit.
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Hamidan Mahamad underwent an annual gynecological checkup performed by an obstetrician, Dr. Herbert Mosberg, an employee of Hollis Women’s Center. Mahamad was in her middle 60s at the time of this exam. A routine transvaginal ultrasound showed the presence of free fluid in Mahamad’s pelvis, which was not there on previous ultrasounds.

Dr. Mosberg said that the latest test was normal. However, nine months later, Mahamad was diagnosed as having ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her uterus, liver and other organs.

In spite of several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Mahamad passed away from her illness about two years later. She is survived by her two adult children.
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The Maryland State Appellate Court has ruled that the trial judge was correct in deciding whether a patient’s negligence lawsuit, that of Yolanda Harris, would go forward against a women’s health clinic even after she dropped claims against her doctor, the agent to the clinic.

The Maryland Court of Specials Appeals said that Harris did not forfeit her right to a lawsuit against Women First OB/GYN Associates LLC when she voluntarily dropped all claims against the clinic’s physician, Dr. McMillan who was alleged to have committed malpractice in a hysterectomy procedure for Ms. Harris.

It was ruled that the judgment against Women First could stand even though the clinic’s negligence was based entirely on Dr. McMillan’s acts or omissions. The legal issue on appeal was whether the principal, Women First, could be held liable for the acts of its agent, Dr. McMillan, who had already been voluntarily dismissed.
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Sandra Hernandez, 46, underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy performed by the defendant obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Joseph Thomas. The surgery was done at Trinity Hospital in Chicago on March 31, 2010.

During the surgery, Dr. Thomas’s placement of a laparoscopic trocar resulted in lacerations to the iliac artery, iliac vein and small bowel. The iliac arteries are three arteries located in the region of the ilium in the pelvis. The three arteries are the common iliac artery, the external iliac artery and the internal iliac artery. These vessels are located in the pelvic area of the body.

After the lacerations, Hernandez suffered severe abdominal bleeding with massive blood loss leading to cardiac arrest and a call for a code blue resuscitation. Extensive amounts of blood products were administered after which surgery was completed to repair the small bowel and blood vessels.
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Johnna Hunt, 40, underwent an outpatient hysteroscopic D&C that was performed by an obstetrician, Dr. John Kaczmarek. She returned home after this procedure and began to hemorrhage. She was admitted to a local hospital and was diagnosed as having a perforated uterine wall and arterial injuries.

Hunt required a hysterectomy and now suffers from scarring, pain and emotional distress as a result of the injuries she sustained. She filed a medical negligence lawsuit against Dr. Kaczmarek and his medical practice claiming that the doctor chose not to recognize that during the procedure he had not entered her endometrial cavity, negligently perforated her uterine wall and chose not to diagnose this intraoperatively and failed to treat intraoperative bleeding. The lawsuit did not claim any lost income.

The jury entered a verdict in favor of Johnna Hunt in the amount of $500,000. Hunt’s attorney was Timothy P. Pothin.
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A Georgia Appellate Court has held that a physician who chose not to timely diagnose an injury postoperatively was not the act that began the running of the statute. Instead, the court ruled that the statute began to run from the time of the patient’s later follow-up office visit.

Laura Woodley Danson underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy that was done by Dr. Dominique Smith, an obstetrician. She experienced symptoms, including stomach pain, after the surgery and complained about this in her postoperative visits with Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith misdiagnosed the symptoms as a bladder infection and said too much gas had been used during her hysterectomy. Danson consulted another physician who diagnosed a kidney obstruction caused by the hysterectomy and an injured bladder.

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