Opera singer unable to work after bungled episiotomy

Women who are able to deliver a child vaginally may still encounter difficulty or complications. In some cases, a baby’s size or position may interfere with a smooth delivery and a woman may suffer injuries to the vaginal region. When a woman experiences difficulty delivery a baby, some doctors recommend that an episiotomy be performed in which a doctor makes a “surgical incision on the perineum and posterior vaginal wall”.

A woman and her husband recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government related to complications she’s experienced as a result of mistakes made during an episiotomy which was performed at an army hospital. According to the lawsuit, the position of the 33-year-old woman’s baby caused a delay in baby’s delivery. In an effort to dislodge the baby’s shoulder from the birth canal, the nurse-midwife performed an episiotomy.

The lawsuit contends, however, that at no time did the nurse-midwife obtain consent to perform the episiotomy or inform the woman of her actions. In a follow-up appointment after the baby’s birth, the new mother complained of discomfort and other adverse side effects including incontinence and flatulence. At that time, a nurse informed the woman that the episiotomy had resulted in a “complete breakdown of the episiotomy and perineum.”

After consulting with a surgeon, the 33-year-old woman learned she would need to undergo reconstructive surgery to attempt to repair the damage caused by the botched episiotomy. Even surgery, however, may not fully repair the damage that was done.

Today, because of her injuries and condition, the 33-year-old opera singer is unable to work. She is seeking to recover $2.5M related to medical negligence, pain and suffering, lost wages and embarrassment.

This case is an example of the painful injuries and unpleasant side effects that can result whenmedical mistakes are made during the labor and delivery process. Illinois women who have suffered similar injuries during the labor or delivery of a child may choose to consult with an attorney.

Source: The Independent, “Opera singer out of work after surgery left her unable to sing due to chronic flatulence,” Christopher Hooton, Jan. 23, 2014

Birth Injuries


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