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Medical Verdicts


Did inadequate placenta removal lead to infertility?

August 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 8

<court>Cook County (Ill) Circuit Court</court>

In 1992, a woman presented to the hospital with severe preeclampsia. An Ob/Gyn performed a cesarean and discovered that the placenta was fragmented and adherent, requiring manual removal and curettage. Postpartum recovery was routine with no unusual bleeding.

From January 1993 to June 1994, the patient took oral contraceptives (OCs) until she experienced scant and irregular menstruation. She was then referred to a reproductive endocrinologist who attempted hormone treatment and ordered tests to determine the cause of the amenorrhea. The radiologist interpreted a hysterosalpingogram as abnormal.

A follow-up hysteroscopy revealed Asherman’s syndrome, but further testing ruled out cancer.

In 1997 she was diagnosed with cervical dysplasia and in 1998 underwent an elective hysterectomy.

In suing, the patient alleged that she lost her fertility due to the doctor’s negligence during the cesarean delivery.

The physician contended that the woman suffered from a partial placenta accreta during her first pregnancy, resulting in her infertility.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the defense.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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