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Medical Verdicts

Inadequate monitoring blamed for delayed healing

July 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 7

<court>Webb County (Tex) District Court</court>

Following a long-standing history of heavy menstrual bleeding resulting in anemia, a 45-year-old obese woman with diabetes presented to her doctor for a hysterectomy.

The woman developed bleeding postoperatively, and a second surgery was necessary to locate and repair the source. Following this second procedure, the patient developed a hospital-borne infection at the site of the wound.

In suing, the woman claimed that the doctor did not issue sufficient postoperative orders to the nurses to monitor her fluid intake and urine. She argued that inadequate urinary output monitoring caused an extended period of shock, which resulted in delayed healing that took 9 months.

The doctor maintained that his notes were adequate and that the nurses properly charted the patient’s fluid intake and urine. Further, he noted that it was impossible to determine whether the shock or the hospitalborne infection caused the delay in healing.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.

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.