Woman Claims Surgery Bungled by Kaiser Surgical Team
3-14-2013 21:49:00

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (CN) - A woman claims in federal court she has permanent injuries and significant scarring after Kaiser doctors nicked a vein during a laparoscopic appendectomy, requiring a large incision to open most her abdominal cavity, and lost and retrieved medical devices "and other materials" from inside the cavity.

Kari Hague arrived at the Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center emergency department March 5, 2012, complaining of abdominal pain and other symptoms, she explains in her complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court. After being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, she was admitted to the hospital where she underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy performed by Dr. Thomas Patrick English, according to the complaint.

The procedure did not go as planned, however, as English had to perform another procedure to determine the source of excessive bleeding.

“During the course of the laparoscopic appendectomy, plaintiff’s left iliac vein was lacerated by a trocar that was inserted into her body by the defendants, causing bleeding and the loss of significant amounts of blood, estimated at the time to be approximately 1200ml,” the complaint states.

Hague received one unit of donor blood as a result of the vein laceration, which ultimately meant a more intrusive surgical procedure.

“To determine the source of the excessive bleeding, defendants were required to convert the plaintiff’s surgery to a laparotomy, in which a large incision is made through the plaintiff’s abdominal wall in order to access all or most of the patient’s abdominal cavity,” the complaint states.

In addition, Hague says the medical team lost count of their equipment. As a result, before they could close, she was exposed to an intraoperative x-ray in order to locate medical devices and “other materials” that had been lost.

Hague recovered but said she spent five days in the hospital instead of one, and still suffers from “permanent” injuries and complications including anemia, dizzy spells, gastrointestinal dysfunction and discomfort, severe pain at the point of incision, nerve irritation, numbness and pain in her lower extremities, and scarring and disfigurement over a large area of her lower abdomen, according to the complaint.

She is suing for malpractice and seeks special, compensatory, consequential, incidental and general damages.

David L. Fiol, of Brent Fiol & Nolan, represents Hague.