10/12/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Cincinnati, OH—A woman who claims she suffered second- and third- degree burns after undergoing a botched gynecological procedure filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in connection with her injuries. The Hamilton County lawsuit names the doctor who performed the procedure and Bethesda Hospital, who happens to be the plaintiff’s employer, according to an October 9, 2010 Cincinnati.com report.
Reports indicated Pamela Williams of Bond Hill chose Alan Altman to perform the outpatient gynecological procedure on February 22, 2005. The procedure’s objective was to “eliminate fibroids and thin the uterine wall” so Williams would no longer feel the pain she was experiencing.
During the procedure, called an “endometrial ablation,” a gynecologist apparently inserts a wand carrying saline solution into the uterus. The saline solution is heated to 195 degrees, though a sheath around the wand is meant to prevent the scolding liquid from seeping out in the wrong places.
“The concept is it goes in and, in essence, bakes off the lining of the uterus to end that situation or limit it,” explained the medical malpractice attorney representing Williams.
However, the procedure did not exactly go as planned. The lawsuit claims Alan Altman, head of Bethesda’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was negligent while performing the procedure.
As a result, Williams was allegedly left with painful blisters and burns. She also contends her permanent injuries resulted in her “inability to engage in marital relations with her husband.”
The medical malpractice lawsuit also alleges Altman disregarded the medical equipment’s warning beeps and even took the wand out while the 195 degree saline was still being released.
According to the lawsuit, “The burns Pamela Williams were so pronounced and horrific that hospital personnel inquired as to whether she was the victim of physical abuse by her husband.”
While Altman reportedly admitted to not reading the operator’s manual for the machine used during the procedure, he allegedly went on to blame the nurses that were assisting him for Williams’ injuries.
Attorneys representing Bethesda Hospital in the case noted, “(T)he only evidence before this Court that Bethesda’s nursing staff deviated from accepted standards of care has been submitted by… Altman.”
The case is underway.
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