People throughout the United States trust their doctors to take the precautions they need to in order to prevent harm to their patients. This is especially the case during surgery which is already a frightening experience. However, if a doctor makes an error, that error can physically and emotionally harm patients.
A doctor in Sioux City, Iowa has been fined by the Iowa Board of Medicine after making a surgical error. Dr. Kevin Hamburger was fined $7,500 for mistakenly removing a woman’s healthy ovaries during a hysterectomy in July 2011.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus. This procedure may be performed for a variety of reasons including abnormal vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, and cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries. During a hysterectomy the ovaries may also be removed in a procedure called an oophorectomy. When the ovaries are removed a woman enters menopause.
The patient, Erin Rehan, has filed a civil lawsuit. Rehan was told by Hamburger prior to the surgery that her ovaries would not be removed during the hysterectomy. She is seeking more than $10,000 in damages for severe and permanent physical, emotional, and mental injury. The lawsuit accuses Hamburger of both professional negligence and medical battery.
The doctor has reportedly apologized for the error. Hamburger is also required by the Iowa Board of Medicine to describe in a plan how he’ll avoid future errors.
People’s lives are placed in the hands of doctors. A doctor’s years of training usually reassures their patients and their family members that they are in safe hands. Unfortunately there are mistakes made during surgeries throughout the United States. The results of such errors can be minor or severe.
When a doctor makes an error and the patient is harmed they should be held responsible for that error. A medical malpractice lawsuit can help the patient hold the doctor responsible.
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