Routine gynecological examination goes wrong

New Jersey women might be shocked to learn about an Ohio woman who went to the doctor for a routine gynecological examination and allegedly ended up getting her vagina sprayed with potassium hydroxide, a chemical used in most drain cleaners. The doctor was performing a colposcopy, in which vinegar or a similar substance is sprayed into a woman's vagina in order to check for abnormalities. She is now suing the physician's group for medical malpractice.

Several hours after the woman left the doctor's office, she received a phone call from an employee who told her to go to the emergency room. Hospital records indicate that doctors at the facility found a plastic bottle cap behind the woman's cervix. In addition, the woman and her husband alleged that officials from the physician's group misinformed the emergency room about the pH level of the liquid in the mislabeled bottle.

A chemistry professor stated that potassium hydroxide is an extremely abrasive chemical that causes skin to decompose. According to the lawsuit, the doctor allegedly grabbed a bottle mislabeled as vinegar and sprayed the solution inside of the patient. The woman said that she felt a painful burning sensation, and when the doctor sensed that something was wrong, he placed a small amount on the tip of his tongue, which began to burn immediately. The doctor tried to wash out the affected area with saline solution and hastily applied a cream to her cervix and vagina without gloves.

Almost a year and a half after the incident, the women continues to suffer medical problems that could be related to the incident, such as pain and ongoing, irregular bleeding. She believes that she will need a hysterectomy and claims she is unable to be intimate with her husband or enjoy swimming with her children. Monetary compensation could help with medical expenses; however, it is less likely to relieve the pain and suffering that this incident has brought upon her and her family.