Doctor of Woman Whose Stomach Caught Fire During C-Section Found Not Liable

Say What!? 21

c-sectionA pregnant woman's abdomen caught fire during what was supposed to be a routine C-section in one of the craziest hospital horror stories I've ever heard. And recently a New York jury ruled that obstetrician Dr. Stephen Brown is not liable for the surgery accident involving former patient Kira Reed.

The fire was the result of a surgical tool igniting an alcohol-based antiseptic applied to the patient's skin. The terrifying incident left Reed with third-degree burns.

Kind of makes you trust hospitals even less, doesn't it?

I’m glad I didn’t hear about this before giving birth either time, or I’m pretty sure I'd have been so scared, they would have had to knock me out 1970s-style.

You just never know what can happen when you go to the hospital. I’ve heard stories about people walking in for minor surgery and walking out with a staph infection that kills them. At least we're prepared for that now, so we can take precautions.

But what do you do when something unexpected happens, when there was no negligence and it was just really bad luck? This is one of those cases in which, it seems, there is no one to blame.

The state Supreme Court ruled that the 2010 C-section gone awry wasn't Brown's fault, and they decided in his favor. The jury found that Brown was not responsible for prepping Reed for the surgery, according to the Post-Standard.

In other words, it was just an unfortunate accident. At least now, thanks to this case, we all know that this particular antiseptic is highly flammable and should not be used with any surgical tool that ignites a spark.

Sadly, though, the discovery came at a very high and painful price for Kira Reed.

Do cases like this make you trust hospitals less? Do you have any hospital horror stories to share?


Image via Rowan Simpson/Flickr

doctors, medical miracles