Matthew Hipps, 44, was to undergo abdominal surgery, which required stenting of his urethra. He consented to having the catherization done by the head of the urology department at Virginia Mason Medical Center. While in the midst of the catherization, a urology fellow placed a tube inside Hipps’s urethra, which met with resistance. The fellow then used a hemostat to open the tip of Hipps’s penis before placing the catheter inside the urethra. A hemostat, which is also called a hemostatic clamp, is a surgical tool most often used to control bleeding.
As a result of the forced opening of the urethra, Hipps suffered a tear and developed scarring inside his urethra. He now suffers discomfort when engaging in intercourse and has difficulty urinating.
Hipps sued the hospital alleging that the fellow negligently used the hemostat during the procedure and improperly dilated the urethra. The lawsuit did not include lost income.