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Lasting harm caused to young mother in medical malpractice case

Everyone makes mistakes. While most mistakes are minor and easily forgiven, there are exceptions -- especially when an error is caused by negligence. Far too many times, we have seen cases in which a negligent doctor causes irreparable harm to a patient.

We read recently of an incident of doctor negligence far from us in San Antonio, involving a young woman. She and her husband filed a medical malpractice claim after a doctor performed an unnecessary hysterectomy on her. Twenty-four years old at the time of the unneeded operation, she can no longer have children as a result.

The hysterectomy was performed on her after the birth of her first -- and only -- child. She went back to the hospital a few days after giving birth because she of heavy bleeding.

Tests showed that her vital signs were normal but that her white blood cell count was elevated.

The patient told the doctor that she wanted to have more children. With that understanding, he had her prepared for a dilation and curettage (and possible hysterectomy) to stop the bleeding. She signed a consent form, believing that the second procedure would not be needed.

When the dilation and curettage didn't stop the bleeding, the hysterectomy was performed.

In her decision, the federal judge noted that there were a number of alternatives to the hysterectomy that went unexplored, though many of them were simple procedures requiring little time.

The judge listed a number of them, including "uterine massage, additional uteronics (which promote contraction in different ways), balloon tamponade, open uterine massage" and a half-dozen more. The judge also noted that some of the procedures "would have taken only seconds to perform."

She and her husband were awarded $672,681.67 (the limit available under West Virginia law).

Members of the military who are victims of medical malpractice can contact the Law Office of Jeffrey C. Anderson for information about legal options, compensation and justice.

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