By Graham Winch
***WARNING: This article contains graphic content***
An Ohio woman is suing her gynecologist for allegedly spraying and burning the inside of her vagina with a corrosive chemical often found in drain-cleaner products.
The medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit filed September 30 says the doctor was scheduled to perform a colposcopy on May 15, 2012, a procedure that included using a highly diluted vinegar solution to help examine the cervix. Instead, the woman claims a bottle marked vinegar in the examination actually contained potassium hydroxide, and the doctor sprayed the harsh chemical in her vagina and allowed it to pool inside of her.
"Potassium hydroxide is a hazardous and highly corrosive chemical that is often used in Draino products for dissolving hairs and other material that collects in shower drainage pipes," reads the complaint.
Court documents say after the doctor noticed the woman was in pain he tasted some of the chemical, and "he quickly spit it out. As the doctor exited the room the Plaintiff could hear that he was yelling that it burned and that something that strong should not be anywhere near or inside of that room."
The doctor allegedly then tried to mitigate the damage by irrigating the area with saline solution, and applying topical anesthetic.
"The Plaintiff was horrified and felt violated, when the doctor placed a small amount of xylocaine on his bare fingers and proceeded to place them into the Plaintiff's vagina," reads the complaint.
The woman eventually visited the emergency room at Akron General Hospital.
"A painful examination was conducted in which there was bleeding, discharge and a foreign object was found lodged behind her cervix," reads the complaint.
The lawsuit lists multiple problems the woman has had as a result of her injuries, including the inability to have sex and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
"Plaintiff experiences numbness, pain, loss of sexual stimulation and lack of lubrication. The Plaintiff and her husband have not had relations since the incident because it is too painful," reads the complaint. "The Plaintiff will be required to undergo a hysterectomy. The damages are permanent."
In the complaint, the woman asked not to be named. HLN is honoring that request and also not naming the doctor in this report.
Attorneys representing the doctor filed a response to the lawsuit with the court last month denying any wrongdoing and asking for the case to be dismissed.
HLN's phone calls to the doctor's attorneys Friday were not immediately returned.
However, one of the doctor's attorneys, Cheryl Atwell, told the Akron Beacon Journal that her client acted appropriately, and it is unknown how the potassium hydroxide got into the bottle marked vinegar.
"That is something we are obviously researching as part of the litigation, but it absolutely was not (the doctor) who filled a vinegar bottle," she said. "...How the wrong product was in the vinegar bottle, we don't know," said Atwell, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
The woman's attorney, William Carlin, told HLN it would be improper for him to comment on the case right now.
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