Mother sues after infection caused by poor hygiene left her crippled

The doctor, who had a strep infection, didn't wear a mask, spreading it to her. This led to the necessary removal of her uterus, as well as other damages.

A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A mother was left without a uterus and crippled after a veteran gynecologist neglected to wear a mask while delivering her child. The botched delivery took place at Sheba Medical Center in December 2015.
The hospital and Health Ministry were sued for compensation last Thursday, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday. 
The mother, 39 at the time, was admitted to Sheba on December 6, 2015. She was taken to the operating room and put under via epidural anesthesia. She then gave birth through a vacuum extraction delivery.  
However, over the four following days she complained continually of terrible stomach pains "to no avail," the legal claim states, "as the medical staff assured her she would be released in a few days. They released her even when they knew this strep was traveling through the hospital."
After she was released, she returned of her own volition to the maternity ward of the hospital, concerned about her stomach pains. She was not seen by a doctor. When her condition worsened she was moved to emergency care and eventually back to the operating room, where they found that her uterus had been infected.
They excised it, leaving her crippled, and with severe, irreversible damage to her body.
"By his [the doctor's] prolonged and continued insistence not to wear a mask," states the claim, "an act that is not only required, but cheap, simple and efficient, he exhibited the greatest degree of irresponsibility. He knew that under those conditions there is a greater chance that he could be the source of infection for the first woman [of three]."
Hygiene protocols for hospitals, now a widespread routine because of the coronavirus, include wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth. In his failure to follow protocol, the doctor infected his patient with group A Streptococcus, or group A strep, a class of bacteria that causes a range of infections. They can be as mild as strep throat, but – in this case – reach internal organs and shut them down.
The CDC advises practicing "good hygiene, like washing your hands often," as it "is the best way to protect yourself from group A strep infections." This is the same bacteria group that causes Scarlet Fever.
The doctor had been tested for strep A, as he had a throat infection, but he didn't maintain hygienic protocols, leading to spreading.
The mother is being represented by Dr. Shai Feuering, a medical malpractice lawyer.
The claim relies on the testimony of the mother herself, the expert opinion of Prof. Jihad Bashara, director of the Infectious Disease Unit at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital, as well as on internal investigations of both the Health Ministry and the hospital.
Sheba's internal report called it "an exceptionally unusual event." This is the first time a claim has been filed against a doctor for infecting a patient specifically by not following proper hygiene protocol.
Identical matches identifying the contagious virus were found in the mother and the doctor.
Sheba's hospital, at the time of her birth, had already gotten notified of a case in the Rabin Medical Center Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, where a woman needed to have her uterus removed, a woman who had previously given birth at Sheba. There were four women in total.
"It's not at all surprising that she got infected, especially considering the four women who gave birth at Sheba and had to get their uters' removed," states the claim. "Also, they knew that the contagion was spreading around the hospital. The doctor had been treating other women with an infection all along."