Woman alleges epidural catheter broke off in her spine

A woman with scoliosis claims a piece of catheter broke off in the epidural of her spine during labor due to alleged negligence.

The lawsuit was filed in the Madison County Circuit Court by plaintiff Christin Witt against anesthesiologist Dr. Juri O. McDowell, CRNA Andrew Funkhouser, and Alton Memorial Hospital.

According to the complaint, Witt was the defendants’ patient on Feb. 18, 2022, for induction of labor. As part of the preparation for birth, Witt claims the defendants conducted the procedure of providing epidural anesthesia. Witt claims she has scoliosis, and the defendants failed to properly position her spine to perform the procedure safely. As a result, she alleges a piece of catheter broke off in the epidural space of her spine and was left there.

Witt alleges severe injuries resulting from the procedure, including lower back pain, significant mental anguish, and a retained foreign body in her spine’s epidural space. She claims to have required extensive medical treatment due to these injuries and anticipates needing more in the future, including potential surgery to remove the foreign body.

Witt alleges the medical professionals provided negligent care by failing to properly perform the procedure. The hospital is named a defendant in the suit as it held out and impliedly represented that both professionals would employ the skill and care of reasonably careful practitioners, the suit states.

Witt seeks a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus any other relief the court deems just.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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