Question concerning B-Lynch sutures
UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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Question concerning B-Lynch sutures
My had complications while giving birth to our son. She had to get a C-section, which the doctor really pushed us into and made it seem like it was our only choice, and after the birth they led myself with our son away to the recovery area while telling us she’d be up there in about 20 minutes. After about 4 hours of being kept in the dark, they finally told me of the complications and how she had extreme hemorrhaging and they almost had to proceed with a hysterectomy, thankfully the bleeding stopped a few transfusions later. Several months later, we find out from our usual OBGYN that the surgeon used the B-Lynch sutures and that any further child birth will require C-sections and vaginal birth is out of the question. After that she felt devastated and a bit wronged that the opportunity for a vaginal birth was taken away with no heads up or even a report afterwards. The surgeon was a bit cold towards us and didn’t even come to speak with her until 30 minutes before being discharged many days later.
Asked on August 10, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
Fortunately, apart from the inability to have vaginal birth in the future, your wife appears to be ok, and since you don't mention anything about your child, we assume he/she is ok, too. That being the case, you effectively do not have a viable malpractice suit.
A viable (or worthwhile) malpractice suit has two different components.
The first is liability: did the doctor do something negligent (careless) or which otherwise does not meet then-currently accepted standards for medical care. Failure to provide sufficient information to make an informed choice can be malpractice, as can be if the procedure itself was performed in a sub-standard way. So there may well be liability.
The second component is "damages": the injuries or costs you are suing for compensation for. If the only injury is the inability to deliver vaginally, it is unclear how much a court would value that, especially since you cannot prove (since it's all future and hypothetical) if you would have additional children and, if you did, whether you would have otherwise had a vaginal delivery or would have had a C-section (as you did this time) for some other reason. Therefore, the monetary award would typically be low.
But at the same time, malpractice suits can be *very* expensive, since you MUST have one or more medical experts write reports and testify--and this can cost several thousand dollars per expert. Therefore, you could spend more on this suit than you get back.
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