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Woman suffers internal burns during gynecological procedure

Wisconsin residents may be interested in an incident involving a 39-year-old woman who suffered from internal burns and permanent injuries after a routine gynecological exam went wrong. While performing a procedure known as a colposcopy, a doctor at Paragon Health in Summit County, Ohio, mistakenly sprayed potassium hydroxide into her vagina, thinking it was vinegar. After realizing what he had done, the doctor then attempted to irrigate the area with saline solution before applying a pain cream with an ungloved finger.

After a year and a half, the woman continues to experience ongoing pain as a result of the medical error. She is unable to have sexual relations with her husband, and she believes they won't be able to have any more children. The woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit asking for more than $25,000 in damages. According to the lawsuit, staff at Paragon Health were not trained or prepared for the chemical emergency that took place at her appointment.

In an interview, the woman recalled the pain she experienced during her gynecological appointment. She said that when the potassium hydroxide was sprayed, it felt like rubbing alcohol being poured into an open cut. The caustic chemical is commonly used in products like Drano and is capable of decomposing human skin within minutes.

A medical error like this one is often the result of the inadequate training and negligence of multiple employees. Because more than one person may be at fault, victims of a medical error may wish to consult with an attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. By looking into a specific case, an attorney may be able to help victims file a claim against all of the parties who are liable.

Source: USA Today, "Doctor mistakes drain cleaner for vinegar, suit says", Tom Meyer, November 12, 2013

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