Sommers Schwartz attorneys Judith A. Susskind and Samuel A. Meklir negotiated a confidential $850,000 settlement for a 57-year-old woman and mother of eight who died a day after undergoing outpatient surgery to remove polyps from her uterus.
During the procedure, the defendant surgeons perforated the back wall of the woman’s uterus and attempted to repair it. However, the surgeons failed to properly inspect the surrounding area; had they done so, they would have discovered that they had perforated her bowel.
The surgeons took a tissue specimen during the surgery and sent it to a pathologist. The pathologist found that the specimen consisted of fragments of adipose (fat), smooth muscle, and colonic tissue. No endometrial tissue was present. The surgeons went through the uterus, grabbed and removed a portion of the woman’s colon, and failed to remove the polyps.
The patient was released from the hospital on the same day as the surgery, in the early afternoon. The next day, her sister found her collapsed at home. EMS was called, resuscitation measures started, and the woman was taken to the hospital. She was given massive transfusions and other supportive therapies but died of hemorrhagic and septic shock due to a massive intraabdominal bleed due and an untreated bowel injury.
The autopsy revealed 950 ml of blood in the peritoneal cavity and a perforated bowel behind the uterus. The medical examiner attributed the woman’s death to “extensive blood loss complicating perforation of the intestine, complicating gynecological surgery.”
The woman was married, had eight children – four of whom were adopted – and worked as a certified nursing assistant.
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