By: Staff Writers | Published: October 26th, 2010
An Ohio woman has filed a malpractice lawsuit against a gynecologist who she says botched an endometrial ablation and failed to tell her that she suffered severe burns to her genintal area from scalding liquid during the procedure.
The gynecological malpractice lawsuit was filed in Hamilton County court by Pamela Williams, who is suing Bethesda Hospital and Dr. Alan Altman, head of the hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Williams herself is a Bethesda Hospital employee of 14 years, and works in the public relations department.
An endometrial ablation involves a procedure where the uterus is filled with a saline solution heated to about 195 degrees Fahrenheit in order to destroy the endometrial lining of a woman’s uterus. The procedure is usually used on patients who suffer from excessive bleeding during their menstrual cycle and do not wish to have a hysterectomy. The procedure is contraindicated for women who want to get pregnant. Women are usually given a local anesthetic during the procedure.
According to the complaint, Altman failed to keep the hot liquid inside of Williams uterus, and it flowed out and caused tissue damage to her vagina, rectal and other areas. Williams claims that Altman never told her about the error and she did not discover the damage until she developed second and third-degree burns.
Altman, who has allegedly admitted to never having read the operator’s manual for the hot saline-filled wand used during the procedure, has accused the two nurses assisting him of failing to turn off the machine in time to prevent the liquid from overflowing, according to a report published by Cincinnati.com. Altman maintains that he did not deviate from standards of care.
However, the two nurses have said that they never heard Altman give the warning to turn the machine off. The lawsuit claims Altman ignored warning beeps from the machine trying to alert him to stop the procedure to prevent Williams from being burned.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages from the hospital and Altman for Williams and her husband.