Did bowel injury lead to finger amputation?
<court>Pinellas County (Fla) Circuit Court</court>
Following a hysterectomy, a 46-year-old woman suffered multiple complications, requiring 112 days of hospitalization and 6 subsequent surgeries—including amputation of her left thumb and index finger.
In suing, the woman claimed the Ob/Gyn injured her bowel during surgery; this injury went undetected, which led to infection and, ultimately, gangrene in her left hand and septic shock. In addition to the amputation, she also required a tracheostomy and a colostomy for almost a full year. Also cited in the suit were the hospital and several surgical consultants.
The defendant maintained that the woman’s complications were due not to bowel injury, but rather to an unavoidable vaginal cuff infection.
- The hospital and consulting surgeons settled for an undisclosed amount. The jury returned a plaintiff verdict, finding the Ob/Gyn 70% at fault. A gross verdict of $6.6 million was reduced to $5.3 million for appointment of fault.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.