Kathryn Coiro, a resident of Birmingham, AL has won a $106,026 medical malpractice lawsuit against Trinity Medical Center for making her undergo two biopsy surgeries for removing a cyst in her left breast.
Coiro was already a breast cancer survivor, having undergone surgery on her right breast in 2003. She was again diagnosed for a cyst in her left breast in July 2007.
When she went in for the operation on July 13, 2007 and was being prepped, a nurse put a mark on her left breast. At this point, Coiro informed the nurse that the mark was not in the same place as the cyst which was to be removed. Coiro was told it was simply so that doctors would know which breast to operate on.
The Coiro asked if she could draw a smiley face on the upper part of her left breast. She was allowed to do so, and then put under with an anesthetic for the operation. When Coiro woke up after the operation, she found that doctors had dissected and removed a section where the nurse had made the mark.
Coiro told the doctors the cyst was still present in her left breast, and she was immediately taken back into the operating room and a second surgery was performed to remove the cyst.
When she went in for an outpatient examination after the surgery, Coiro had developed a severe infection on the first and incorrect surgery spot on her left breast. All told, Coiro had to undergo two surgeries and stay in the hospital for 10 days. The wounds had to be healed using a vacuum device.
Coiro filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Trinity Medical Center in 2009, alleging the hospital was at fault because they should have had a surgeon do the marking instead of a nurse. The jury agreed and awarded her $106,026 after the three year lawsuit process.