Did negligence lead to ureter, colon injury?
<court>Lucas County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court</court>
Following a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in a 53-year-old woman with chronic pelvic pain, a pyelogram revealed an injured ureter. The injury was repaired and the patient discharged.
The woman returned to the hospital a week and a half later, at which time it was discovered that her sigmoid colon had also been injured in the first surgery, leading to a fistula. She was treated with a colostomy, and 6 months later the bowel was reanastomosed.
In suing, the woman claimed the physician was negligent for injuring her ureter and colon, and failing to detect the damage in a timely fashion. Had the injury been promptly identified, she argued, her complications would have been less severe.
The defendant denied negligence, noting that ureter injury is a known complication of salpingo-oophorectomy. He further claimed that the damage subsequently discovered developed as a complication of the ureter injury, which was detected and repaired promptly after surgery.
- The jury returned a defense verdict.
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.