Pitocin at issue in suit against Alton Memorial and doctors

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 5, 2005, 6:33am

Alton Memorail Hospital

Holly Haegele filed a medical malpractice suit against Alton Memorial Hospital and three doctors seeking damages in excess of $200,000 for problems that arose while she was in labor.

Joseph Talsky, M.D., Donald Hardbeck, M.D. and Christine Taylor, M.D., all employed by Illini Medical Associates, were named as defendants in the suit filed in Madison County Circuit Court Dec. 1.

Taylor left Illini in June and is now practicing medicine in Stillwater, Okla.

Haegele claims that on May 4, 2004, the defendants performed a cesarean section but failed to properly use and monitor Pitocin, medication that is used to induce or augment labor by making contractions stronger and more frequent.

She also claims her physician failed to recognize and repair a ureter obstructed during the c-section, prior to closing the incision.

Haegele claims the defendants' negligence caused her to suffer from a uterine rupture. She also claims she suffered renal complications including hydronephrosis and decreased renal function.

According to the complaint, Haegele had to undergo multiple surgical procedures and she continues to suffer from internal and external scarring and disfigurement, physical disabilities, depression and great pain of mind and body and stress.

"Haegele has suffered loss of her work and income and a result of her injuries and medical expenses have incurred in the approximate sum of $100,000, and additional sums will be required for medical expenses in the future, and all of her injuries and effects are serious, permanent and progressive, and the function and use of the aforesaid parts and organs are impaired, diminished and made painful," the complaint states.

Dr. Michael Berke, M.D., of Walled Lake Michigan states in his affidavit, "In reviewing the records, it is clear that the physicians and staff at Alton Memorial Hospital's labor and delivery unit failed to properly use and monitor Pitocin.

"I have concluded that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for filing an action."

Haegele is represented by John Wallach and Suzanne Hardin from the Law Office of John Wallach in St. Louis.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Don Weber.

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