Botched episiotomy at Kentucky Army hospital leads to lawsuit

Any woman who has a child knows that labor and delivery is going to be difficult. Some women, however, are unaware of just how difficult the process can be. For one opera singer, who delivered her son at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, an episiotomy during childbirth severely affected her life in ways she couldn't have imagined.

In a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government, the woman and her husband claim that a nurse midwife performed an episiotomy on the woman without her consent. She claims she didn't know about the benefits, risks or possible need for the minor surgical procedure. They are seeking $2.5 million in damages for loss of consortium and medical malpractice.

The certified nurse midwife did a midline episiotomy prior to the woman's son being born. The midwife reports that she repaired the episiotomy. The lawsuit claims that no physician repaired or assessed the episiotomy.

After she was released from the hospital, the woman began to experience excessive flatulence, periodic leaking of stool, fecal incontinence and fecal urgency.

It wasn't until she went to her follow-up exam that she learned the extent of the damage caused by the botched episiotomy. The midwife she saw at that appointment told the woman that she had a "complete breakdown of the episiotomy and perineum." A Vanderbilt University Medical Center colorectal surgeon said the woman would need reconstructive surgery but that it might not help her flatulence.

If you have been injured by any form of medical negligence, such as hospital negligence, you might also have the right to seek compensation for damages. Understanding your rights prior to seeking compensation can help you to learn the types of compensation to claim for your situation.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Opera Singer Says Operation Ruined Her Career" Kevin Koeninger, Jan. 20, 2014

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