We wrote in this space a few days ago about a new error reporting system that helps make hospitals safer; a goal that Newburgh residents can agree is a good one.

Unfortunately, there are still cases of medical malpractice and workers compensation in which a negligent hospital doctor causes irreparable harm to an innocent, unsuspecting patient.

Just days ago, a Michigan jury awarded a teacher $2.5 million for the permanent injuries she suffered in a medical procedure performed at an Ann Arbor hospital.

The 29-year-old had suffered a miscarriage in 2007 that required a subsequent dilation and curettage procedure. An obstetrician and gynecologist at the hospital reportedly told her that she would “be home by lunch” following a procedure he said was routine.

However, a resident physician then allegedly perforated her uterus while attempting to remove the fetal remains.

According to the woman’s lawsuit, the attending physician failed to properly supervise the resident physician, who inserted ring forceps through the perforated uterus and grabbed a section of the woman’s bowel.

That action tore both the bowel and rectum.

It also necessitated another procedure; this time, an ileostomy. That procedure creates an opening at the surface of the patient’s skin through which passes intestinal waste that is collected in a bag worn on the body.

The woman wore that bag for three months after the ileostomy.

She also permanently lost portions of her rectum and bowel and now suffers with pain, scarring and irregular bowel patterns.

The woman told an interviewer after the conclusion of the trial that she hadn’t been informed by her doctor that a resident would be performing the original procedure.

The legal marketing agency on her case didn’t state how much of the award was to compensate her for medical expenses and how much is for her pain and suffering.

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