Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Arises After Device is Lodged in Patient’s Abdomen
Leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body during surgery simply should not happen. In fact, it is often called a “never event” because of the preventable nature of this type of surgical error. Unfortunately, foreign object incidents can and do occur, often leaving patients with devastating injuries.
For instance, a female patient and her husband have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a West Virginia hospital, after the woman suffered complications from a medical procedure, which were ultimately tied to a device that was lodged in her abdomen.
If you or someone you love suffered harm due to an object left inside the body during a medical procedure, it is essential to find out if you have grounds to pursue compensation. Fronzuto Law Group is a firm specializing in medical malpractice and product liability claims. Our highly experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to advocating for victims in New Jersey and New York who suffer injuries as a result of medical malpractice, hospital negligence, and defective products. If you believe that you may have grounds for a claim, contact our offices today at 973-435-4551 to receive a cost-free case evaluation.
Foreign Object Left during Medical Procedure
The patient in this case, Lisa Sullenberger, of Marion, Pennsylvania, received a bilateral tubal occlusion at West Virginia University Hospital on April 15, 2013. The procedure was performed by Dr. Preiya Jain, under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Josefina Ommani. A bilateral tubal occlusion is a procedure in which a doctor inserts a metal coil into both of a woman’s fallopian tubes to serve as a permanent form of birth control. The procedure is done using a scope that travels through the cervix, into the uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes.
In the months following the procedure, tissue will develop to cover the coil and form a plug that prevents fertilized eggs from reaching the uterus, where they may otherwise lead to pregnancy. Bilateral tubal occlusion is generally performed using local anesthesia, as opposed to general anesthesia, and it does not require the incision associated with surgical sterilization. Complications of the procedure typically arise due to incorrect placement of the coils.
Defective Medical Device used in Surgery
In this case, Dr. Jain stated that she suspected they were utilizing a defective device, particularly the Essure coil that was inserted into the left fallopian tube. She then inserted a second coil into the left side, while only inserting one in the right side. Shortly after the medical procedure, Sullenberger began to suffer from severe back pain, nausea, and vomiting. A subsequent x-ray confirmed that she had an Essure coil lodged in her abdominal cavity. To correct the issue, Sullenberger had to have the Essure coil surgically removed, in addition to a hysterectomy.
Sullenberger and her husband have now filed a lawsuit for hospital negligence and medical malpractice, claiming that her doctors did not adequately consider the potential for a fallopian tube perforation or the improper placement of the coil. The suit states that physicians failed to identify the placement of the first coil and did not remove it, which led to the eventual dislocation in Sullenberger’s abdomen.
It is important to note that the Essure coil, which was used in this case, is also the subject of a large-scale class action lawsuit against Bayer Corporation. Bayer is facing litigation from hundreds of patients who claim the company failed to warn medical professionals and the FDA that the Essure coil implant may pose dangerous health risks, including chronic pain, bleeding, a perforated uterus, and unintended pregnancy.
For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Pa. couple sues WVU Board of Governors for medical negligence