Hypovolemic shock after cone biopsy
A 46-year-old Illinois woman suffered significant bleeding after undergoing a cervical cone biopsy. The gynecologist attempted to control the bleeding by injecting Monsel’s solution. The bleeding slowed but the patient went into hypovolemic shock, which necessitated an emergency laparotomy that revealed a perforated uterine wall and damage to both uterine arteries. A hysterectomy was performed to control the bleeding. The patient improved, but subsequently developed sepsis, small bowel necrosis, and other complications, resulting in her death.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the patient’s estate, alleging that the gynecologist was negligent in that an excessive amount of cervical tissue was removed during the cone biopsy and that Monsel’s solution was used inappropriately, which led to hypovolemic shock and ultimately the woman’s death.
THE VERDICT: The jury awarded $4.25 million in damages.
Failure to recognize, treat preeclampsia
A 34-year-old Pennsylvania woman received prenatal care from a general practitioner. During the pregnancy, she developed gestational diabetes. She was admitted in the early third trimester with some bleeding, increased blood pressure, and headache, but was discharged home. At 34 weeks she was readmitted to the hospital with continuing headaches and spiking blood pressures. She lost consciousness and an obstetrician in the hospital delivered the baby. The woman suffered brain damage and subsequently died.
A lawsuit was filed by the woman’s estate and faulted the general practitioner and her group for failing to diagnose and treat preeclampsia and failing to refer her to an obstetrician. The physician also was alleged to be negligent in failing to come to the hospital after nurses advised her of the patient’s symptoms.
THE VERDICT: The jury found in favor of the patient and awarded $6.07 million to her estate.