Woman says aorta was punctured during routine surgery

Andrea Dearden Apr. 23, 2012, 2:12am

A patient who says her aorta was punctured during a routine abdominal surgery is suing the doctor and medical practice she says caused the injury.

Carol Lehr and her husband, Allan Lehr, filed the lawsuit on April 3, 2011 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. Sekou Kelsey and OB Practice LLC, doing business as Women's Care of Southern Illinois.

Carol Lehr says she was under the care of Dr. Kelsey and Women's Care of Southern Illinois on April 10, 2010, when the doctor allegedly injured her during a procedure. According to the complaint, Dr. Kelsey "negligently and carelessly failed to take the necessary steps to properly secure the abdomen while inserting the Verees needle in a patient with a prior abdominoplasty which resulted in a puncture of the aorta and its bifurcation."

Lehr says that as a result of the injury to her aorta, she had substantial blood loss, required additional surgery, sustained more scarring, suffered a hernia and additional injuries to her body as a whole. The patient says she has endured "constant pain and suffering," loss the enjoyment of normal life and been forced to pay large amounts of money in medical expenses.

Lehr accuses Dr. Kelsey and the Women's Care of Southern Illinois obstetrics practice of negligence for allegedly failing to apply their knowledge and skill to properly care for her. The patient's husband, Allan Lehr, is suing the same defendants for loss of consortium. Together, the couple is asking to be paid more than $200,000 in damages plus court costs.

Attorney Joseph A. Bartholomew of Belleville is representing the Lehrs.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-167

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