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Surgical error almost prevents woman from ever having children

Many women in Illinois and throughout the entire U.S. have been fortunate to have the experience of being overcome with joy after first learning that they were pregnant. Unfortunately, many women have also had to experience the tragic loss of a baby after a miscarriage or another reason arising from acomplicated pregnancy.

Although miscarriages commonly occur during the early stages of pregnancy and do not affect a woman’s health, some women may need to undergo surgery if the miscarriage occurs after the first trimester of pregnancy. This may be a physically and emotionally difficult experience for women, but in many cases, women are able to get pregnant later on and raise happy and healthy children.

After experiencing a miscarriage in her second trimester of pregnancy, a school teacher in Michigan had to undergo a routine dilation and curettage operation. The woman looked forward to becoming a mother again someday, but when the surgery was performed, a mistake was made that almost prevented her from being able to have children.

To prepare for the D&C operation after her miscarriage, the 27-year-old woman was given a treatment to dilate her cervix. But on the morning of her surgery, doctors discovered that her cervix had not dilated properly. To continue with the procedure, the lawsuit states that a doctor gave a surgical resident permission to expand the woman’s cervix without making sure that the woman agreed with the decision. During the D&C operation, the surgical resident mistakenly perforated the woman’s uterus. Instead of using an ultrasound to ensure that the doctor fixed the resident’s mistake, the doctor caused further injury that required a rectal surgeon to safely finish the procedure.

The lawsuit claimed that the mistake not only caused injuries that almost prevented the woman from ever being able to have children, but the injuries have also prevented the woman from being able to return to working full-time as a school teacher.

The woman was informed about the risks of the routine procedure after her miscarriage, but the lawsuit argued that the woman never gave consent to allow a resident to assist with the procedure and the surgeon performing the operation failed to take measures to ensure that the resident’s mistake was fixed correctly.

Recently, a jury awarded the woman with a multi-million dollar settlement for her injuries, pain and suffering. Although it was unfortunate that the woman had to have this happen to her, she stated that she is glad that she has been able to have children since the terrible surgery.

Source: Outpatient Surgery Magazine, “Michigan Teacher Awarded $2.5M After Failed D&C,” Daniel Cook, Mar. 5, 2012


Pregnancy-Related Injuries

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At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we represent Illinois clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, including the cities of Cicero, Elgin, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Maywood, Berwyn, Elmhurst, Evanston, Skokie, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Palatine and Hoffman Estates. We also help clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County and Winnebago County. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Illinois, CHH Law is the law firm with attorneys that can help.

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