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Drain Cleaner Sprayed Inside Patient, According to Medical Malpractice Suit

doctor negligence“I was the victim of a pretty horrific experience at my gynecologist exam,” says a woman from North Canton, Ohio who has accused her doctor of spraying drain cleaner inside her during a routine procedure.

Laura spoke about her medical malpractice lawsuit to WKBW News to get her story out to the public, but asked that her last name not be used and her face hidden from cameras.

Doctor negligence alleged in medical malpractice suit

Gross doctor negligence is one factor in the horrific incident that occurred in May 2012 at Paragon Health in Summit County. Laura went in for a colposcopy, a routine procedure that uses a light and magnifying glass to take a closer look at the cervix to check for cancer or other abnormalities.

It’s not unusual for doctors to swab the vaginal canal with white vinegar or iodine to see problem areas more clearly. Only, in this case, Dr. John Black liberally sprayed the cervix and surrounding tissues with a spray bottle, which caused immediate pain and burning. “It was like an open cut with rubbing alcohol being poured into it,” Laura recalls.

Discovery conducted for the medical malpractice lawsuit uncovered that the doctor had actually sprayed the chemical potassium hydroxide inside the woman – the same chemical used in drain cleaners. The caustic chemical is able to dissolve a hot dog within minutes, so one can imagine what the solution did to Laura’s internal cavity.

She can no longer have marital relations with her husband or swim with her children. She faces ongoing, irregular bleeding that disrupts her daily life. The couple says they had wanted to conceive more children, but fears Laura may now need a hysterectomy.

“The use of vinegar in this procedure is absolutely appropriate and I don’t believe anyone is disputing that,” a lawyer working on the case told the Akron Beacon Journal. What’s unclear is how a caustic chemical ended up in a spray bottle labeled “vinegar,” she says.

“It absolutely was not Dr. Black who filled a vinegar bottle,” the lawyer adds, but the ongoing discovery should eventually turn up other people culpable in the medical malpractice case.

“He puts an ungloved dirty finger inside her,” says husband

Allegations of doctor negligence get stranger and stranger as the details unfold. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Black suspected that something had gone terribly wrong during the procedure. He placed a small amount of the solution used on Laura into a cup and touched the tip of his tongue to it. When it started to burn, he irrigated his patient’s vaginal canal with saline and applied a pain-numbing cream.

Worse yet, the doctor didn’t wash his hands or wear gloves when applying the cream internally. “He puts an ungloved, dirty finger inside,” recalls Laura’s husband in disgust. Laura said the doctor told her, “I hope you’re not offended. I just want to let you know I’ve been married forever, and I don’t have any diseases.”

Medical malpractice suit focuses on hospital failure to respond appropriately

Within hours of the incident, another doctor from Paragon phoned Laura and instructed her to go to the Akron General Hospital emergency room immediately. Hospital records show that a plastic bottle cap was discovered behind Laura’s cervix.

It’s unclear how the cap got there, but the hospital also reported that Paragon officials gave inaccurate information about the pH level of the liquid sprayed inside Laura. They reported the pH level was a “neutral” 7.5 – when, in fact, the hospital confirmed a pH level of 12, which is extremely damaging to the human body.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Black did not follow standard protocol in this case, which would have been to contact poison control. Furthermore, Paragon failed to have OSHA-required documents detailing what to do during a chemical-related emergency.