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Medical Verdicts

Was doctor negligent in episiotomy repair?

March 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 3
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<court>Jackson County (Mo) Circuit Court</court>

An episiotomy performed on a 28-year-old woman during delivery extended into a perineal laceration. Five days following the delivery, the repair broke, causing the woman fecal and gas incontinence. She required follow-up surgery 7 months later to repair the damage.

The woman alleged the doctor was negligent in the repair, and that as a result of this negligence 2 subsequent pregnancies had to be delivered by cesarean.

The physician contended that her injury was a known risk of the procedure. In addition, he suggested the broken repair was caused by factors other than the quality of his repair at birth.

  • 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.

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