Michael P. Ringwood, Esq., recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a local OB/GYN in Supreme Court, Onondaga County. Plaintiff patient alleged the physician failed to convert to an open laparotomy upon encountering a right ovary encased in dense adhesions and loops of bowel. Plaintiff further alleged that the physician, upon encountering a bleeder in that same area, failed to: call for the assistance of a general surgeon; improperly cauterized a bleeder within the mesentery of the small bowel such that it prevented blood supply to that area of the bowel leading to ischemia and perforation; and failed to document in his written post op note the location of the bleeder and the method of coagulation utilized. As a result of these alleged acts of malpractice, plaintiff alleged she suffered bowel ischemia, peritonitis, sepsis, an ileostomy, multiple emergency surgeries, a same day surgery plan which turned into a two month hospital stay, mesentery thrombosis, multiple hospitalizations for small bowel obstructions and hernia development/repair, a full year and a half of post-operative home care for wound healing, and a lifetime need for medical management and medicine.
Mike defended the claims arguing: it was a matter of medical judgment whether or not to convert to an open procedure or call in a general surgery consultation; there is a known risk with these procedures for injury to organ and for bleeding; the medical records were properly drafted; this perforation was the product of a known and accepted thermal injury complication which does not manifest it self until after the surgery; and the bleeder was properly identified and properly repaired during the surgery.
After almost two weeks of trial testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician. Great work Mike!