Woman Has Unnecessary Hysterectomy, Files Lawsuit and Wins
Published on January 23, 2015
So many of us trust our doctor implicitly. We count on him or her to be knowledgeable of every possible diagnosis and treatment. We trust that he or she has our best interest in mind. And because of this, we’re willing to do whatever it is our doctor recommends. The only problem is: what if our doctor gets it wrong?
Can we really trust that every doctor knows every symptom to every possible diagnosis and the proper way to treat it? I’d like to, but conducting your own research online will tell you that your symptoms could be a myriad of things. In most cases, I’m sure your doctor providing a wrongful diagnosis or improper medication is not intentional, but the fact of the matter is it happens. And when it does, the results can be devastating – even deadly. Jill Jacobs, 48, in New York knows this all too well.
Jill had a fibroid tumor that she monitored under the care of her gynecologist. When she developed abdominal pain, her internist referred her to a gynecological surgeon, Bhavana Pothuri. During her five minute appointment, Jill was told she needed surgery and that there were two openings – one the next day or not until a month later. Jill opted to undergo surgery the next day knowing she would have a myomectomy or a hysterectomy if cancer were detected.
During her preoperative evaluation, Jill underwent a cancer antigen (CA) 125 test. This is used to monitor for ovarian and other cancers. She showed a noncancerous level of CA-125 protein in her blood; however, she was not told of the test results. Pothuri performed a total hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy. Afterward, Jill suffered from numerous complications including an excisional hernia, depression, anxiety, and persistent leakage of urine. She later learned she never had cancer.
Because of this, Jill filed a lawsuit against Pothuri and the hospital, alleging lack of informed consent. At trial, the defendants revealed the CA 125 results, which had not been disclosed to the plaintiff’s counsel. The court ruled that this error justified striking the defendant’s answers, and the allegations were deemed admitted. The jury awarded $142,000. Jill Jacobs story and lawsuit was found in Professional Negligence Law Reporter, January/February 2015.
No one wants to endure the physical and emotional pain that comes with a wrongful diagnosis. Make sure you know the things you can to to avoid a misdiagnosis.
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