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ARTICLE ID 191286

DEFENDANT’S – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – SURGERY – DEFENDANT SURGEON PERFORATES BOWEL DURING TOTAL ABDOMINAL HYSTERECTOMY – FAILURE TO TIMELY DIAGNOSE AND TREAT PERFORATION – EXTENDED HOSPITAL STAY – ADDITIONAL SURGERY REQUIRED.

Allegheny County, PA

In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff maintained that the defendant doctor negligently performed a total radical abdominal hysterectomy on the plaintiff and perforated the plaintiff’s bowel during the procedure. The defendant maintained that the injury occurred in the absence of negligence and is a known and accepted risk of the procedure.

In August of ________, the 53-year-old plaintiff was newly diagnosed with cervical cancer. On October 13, ________, the plaintiff underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy performed by the defendant. The following day, the plaintiff reported severe pain in her abdomen and she developed a fever. Two days after surgery the plaintiff began vomiting and her abdomen was bloated and tender to the touch. She developed shortness of breath and tachycardia.

On October 17, ________, an exploratory laparotomy was performed and it was discovered that during the original procedure the defendant negligently damaged the small bowel and the plaintiff was suffering from abdominal sepsis. Emergency bowel resection with anastomosis, drainage of an abdominal abscess and abdominal washout was performed. The plaintiff was discharged from the hospital on November 5, ________. She required several medical procedures following this hospitalization in order to address the complications from the perforated bowel.

The plaintiff maintained that the defendant doctor was negligent in perforating, lacerating or otherwise damaging the plaintiff’s small bowel, failing to use proper surgical techniques to avoid electrocautery damage to the bowel, failing to properly inspect the abdomen for perforations, blockages or other problems before closing the procedure, failing to properly and timely diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s post-operative condition and decreasing the plaintiff’s chance of a satisfactory recovery. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff suffered a perforated bowel, extended hospital stay, additional surgical procedures, and sepsis. The defendant denied all allegations of negligence and argued that bowel perforation is a known and accepted risk of a total abdominal hysterectomy that can occur for a multitude of reasons, none of which implies negligence on the part of the surgeon.The jury was asked if the care provided by the defendant fell below medical standards and the jury answered no, rendering a defense verdict.

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