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Lawsuit: Doctor failed to remove IUD birth control device

Woman says she suffered years of pain from Mirena device in abdomen

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A Shenandoah County woman claims a birth control device stayed in her abdomen for years after a doctor failed to remove it during surgery.

The lawsuit filed in Winchester Circuit Court names Blue Ridge Gynecology & Obstetrics PC, 211 Linden Drive, Winchester, and its employee, Dr. Karen Wade, as defendants. Angela Collins is seeking $2 million and a jury trial. She is represented by Winchester attorney Marilyn Solomon.

The defendants inserted a Mirena inter-uterine device on Sept. 13, 2006, according to the complaint. Collins developed a left ectopic pregnancy between that date and Feb. 12, 2007, the complaint states. Wade performed procedures, including laparoscopy, to treat the pregnancy, on Feb. 12, 2007, according to the plaintiff.

"The IUD was not found," the complaint states. "Plaintiff told Defendant Wade that she had not expelled the Mirena and was concerned that it had not been found during the procedures, but Defendant Wade failed to utilize any imaging device or otherwise search to locate the Mirena IUD."

Collins states she suffered pain in her left side and/or abdomen after the procedures. The defendants treated Collins for the pain on April 1, April 20, May 11 and May 24, 2007, "but failed to order any test or image or take any action that would have revealed that the Mirena was lodged in Plaintiff's abdomen," according to the complaint.

"Instead, Defendants advised Plaintiff she was ovulating and suggested she take ibuprofen for her pain," the complaint states.

Collins again suffered abdominal pain and went to the Winchester Medical Center emergency room June 3, 2007, according to the complaint. She returned to the defendants for treatment on June 18, 2007. Wade advised Collins her pain was caused by scar tissue "and told her to deal with [it]," according to the plaintiff.

"Defendant Wade gave Plaintiff a prescription for pain medicine and told her to make it last because she would not give her any more," the complaint states. "Plaintiff did not return to Defendant Wade for further treatment after that date because she believed Defendant's diagnosis that her pain was caused by scar tissue and nothing could be done to relieve it."

Collins suffered abdominal pain Nov. 20, 2010, and went to Winchester Medical Center.
"They did a CT scan and found the [Mirena] floating in her abdomen," the complaint states.

Collins underwent surgical removal of the device at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Jan. 12, 2011.

"Defendants failed to provide appropriate care and treatment to Plaintiff for the injuries she suffered as a result of leaving a foreign object in her abdomen during and after the surgery on February 12, 2007 as the device had no therapeutic or diagnostic effect on her body," the complaint states.

The suit claims Wade and the medical office showed negligence when they: failed to properly assess and diagnose the plaintiff or to "image" Collins to search for the missing device during the Feb. 12, 2007, surgery; left a foreign object in her body causing injury, pain and emotional distress; ignored the patient's requests to look for the missing IUD; and misdirected her by stating scar tissue was causing the pain.

Collins claims she has suffered physical, mental and emotional pain; temporary and permanent disability and disfigurement; future health care costs; lost wages; and loss of the enjoyment of life.

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