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Medical Verdicts

Failed D&C follows missed abortion

December 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 12

<court>Tulsa County (Okla) District Court</court>

A 20-year-old woman presented to a hospital after suffering a missed abortion.

A resident, supervised by an Ob/Gyn, attempted to perform a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, but was unsuccessful in removing the fetus. Ten days later, the fetus was expelled from the patient’s body while she was at home. She subsequently underwent a second D&C.

In suing, the woman claimed she never consented to have a resident conduct the D&C. She also argued that the procedure was negligently performed.

The doctors maintained that the patient was told a resident would be involved. They further noted that not being able to remove the fetus is a known risk of the D&C procedure.

  • 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.