A 26-year-old woman is suing the Eastern Cape Department of Health for R3 million after her uterus was allegedly removed by doctors without her consent.
The case, which has received widespread media coverage, is one of many hysterectomy malpractice claims against the Eastern Cape Department of Health. Since 2014, it has been sued for a total of R3.4 billion for medical negligence at its 91 hospitals and more than 700 clinics.
If you have experienced serious injury due to negligence surrounding a hysterectomy procedure – or have undergone surgery without giving informed consent – you may have grounds for a hysterectomy malpractice claim. Call DSC Attorneys on 086 146 5879. Our offices are on the 10th Floor, Touchstone House, 7 Bree Street, Cape Town. We deal with medical malpractice claims at locations across South Africa.
Common hysterectomy risks and complications
A hysterectomy is a common gynaecological procedure that involves the surgical removal of part or all of the uterus.
As with all surgeries, it comes with risks and complications. Among the most common are:
- bladder injury
- urethral injury
- bowel or small intestine perforation
- mechanical obstruction of the intestines
- vaginal vault granulation
- post-operative infections.
Types of hysterectomy malpractice
In some cases when a patient suffers a complication of a hysterectomy, the doctor, hospital or a healthcare professional is liable.
If a doctor, healthcare professional or healthcare provider caused or contributed to a complication through negligence, there may be grounds for a hysterectomy malpractice claim.
There may also be grounds for a claim if a doctor failed to inform the patient of the risks of surgery or failed to get a patient’s informed consent. A claim for medical malpractice may be warranted if a patient is given an improper diagnosis and/or an unnecessary or improper procedure.
Hysterectomy malpractice cases in South Africa
There are numerous examples of hysterectomy malpractice claims in South Africa.
Minor sues over unauthorised hysterectomy
A woman who was trying to conceive discovered she’d been given an unauthorised hysterectomy during a Caesarean section delivery years earlier. Bongekile Msibi had no idea her uterus had been removed during the birth of her daughter when she was 17.
A doctor at the hospital acknowledged the hysterectomy but alleged that Msibi had signed consent for the removal of her uterus. When Msibi denied this, the doctor said Msibi’s mother signed consent, which she also denied. Msibi is suing the Gauteng health department.
Mother awarded 100% damages for botched hysterectomy
The Gauteng health department was ordered to pay more than R900,000 to a 48-year-old Heidelberg woman, who was left with chronic pain after a white plastic object was left in her abdomen during a hysterectomy.
The High Court in Pretoria ruled that the medical team at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital had been negligent by not examining Marjorie Venter’s wound and permitting the object to remain in her during a 2013 hysterectomy.
Woman sues for negligent follow-up care after hysterectomy
A woman sued her surgeon at a private Gauteng hospital after she suffered a septic wound following a hysterectomy.
It was alleged that negligent post-operative care caused the septic wound to worsen, requiring further surgery.
The defendant was found liable for negligence. The woman was awarded 100% of the damages claimed and all costs.
What to do if you have a hysterectomy malpractice claim
If you’ve suffered an adverse outcome or injury because of a hysterectomy, you should contact an attorney who specialises in medical malpractice claims. An attorney will help you establish if negligence by a medical professional or health department caused the unexpected outcome or injury.
To win a hysterectomy malpractice claim, you and your legal team must prove that a healthcare professional/s did not provide the appropriate quality of care and diligence. This requires expert medical witnesses who can testify to the proper standard of care.
You will then have to prove that the injury was caused by sub-standard care. This is complex and requires legal expertise from experienced attorneys.
At DSC Attorneys, we specialise in medical malpractice claims. We can assess your claim, help prepare supporting evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, giving you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact us for the very best legal support and representation. Note that we work on a no win, no fee basis.