Were post-D&C injections necessary?
<court>Kings County (NY) Supreme Court</court>
A 39-year-old woman presented to her physician with complaints of vaginal bleeding in March 1997. Upon examination, the physician diagnosed fibroid tumors in the uterus. The doctor recommended dilatation and curettage (D&C), which was performed the same day. Three days later, the patient received a leuprolide acetate injection; in April and May she received 2 follow-up injections of the medication.
In July 1997, the woman underwent a myomectomy. No fibroid tumors were found during this procedure. One week later, the patient was readmitted with complaints of extreme stomach pains. Surgery was performed to remove adhesions that were causing the pain. The woman continues to suffer from nausea, heartburn, vomiting, painful intercourse, and bowel restriction.
In suing, the patient claimed that the physician did not wait sufficient time to see if the D&C alone would have solved the problem. The plaintiff claimed that both the leuprolide injections and the “myomectomy” that revealed no uterine myomas were unnecesary.
The physician maintained that the examinations and procedures were adequate.
- The jury awarded the plaintiff $1 million.
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.