Dazet v. Bass, 46372

Decision Date08 November 1971
Docket NumberNo. 46372,46372
Citation254 So.2d 183
PartiesMrs. Oleta DAZET v. Dr. Ross R. BASS and Dr. Walter H. Simmons.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Barnett, Montgomery, McClintock & Cunningham, Ross R. Barnett, Jr., James W. Nobles, Jr., Jackson, for appellant.

George F. Woodliff, William H. Brown, Jr., Jackson, for appellees.

GILLESPIE, Chief Justice:

Mrs. Oleta Dazet filed suit in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County against Drs. Ross R. Bass and Walter H. Simmons, alleging negligence in connection with the performance of an operation. After both parties rested the trial judge peremptorily instructed the jury to find for defendants. Plaintiff appealed, and we affirm.

The principal question in this case is whether the plaintiff's proof made an issue for the jury.

Drs. Bass and Simmons are associated in the Simmons Clinic. They are specialists in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Plaintiff consulted Dr. Bass, who determined after an examination that she had a growth in the left ovary, that her vagina was filled with blood, and that her uterus was retrocessed, tender, firm and enlarged. Plaintiff had previously undergone surgery in 1951 for removal of her right ovary, and underwent another operation in 1961. Dr. Bass advised surgery for the removal of her uterus and left ovary. She entered the hospital and on November 17, 1966, underwent surgery which was performed by Dr. Bass and assisted by Dr. Simmons. Upon exploration of the abdominal area, the findings reached in the previous examination were confirmed. Upon finding that plaintiff did not have a right ovary, and in order to preserve hormone production, Dr. Bass only removed the growth from the left ovary and did not completely remove the ovary. Having removed this cyst, he then closed the denuded areas of the ovary with sutures. Thereafter, the various supporting structures for the uterus were removed, the vagina was entered and the uterus detached therefrom by means of an incision, the top of the vagina was clamped and then closed by means of sutures, the peritoneum (the membrane which lines the abdominal wall) was replaced over the upper end of the vagina (which is referred to as the vaginal cuff once the uterus has been removed), the peritoneal layer of the abdomen was then closed with sutures, the subcutaneous tissues in the abdomen were sutured, and finally the incision in the abdomen was closed by suturing the outer layer of skin. A dressing was applied to the abdominal area and the patient was returned to the recovery room. Most of this work took place in an area very near the bladder. This operation took approximately one hour and fifteen to twenty minutes.

Approximately one hour after appellant was removed to the recovery room, it was noticed that she had excessive vaginal bleeding, and since Dr. Bass had already left the hospital, his associate, Dr. Simmons, was called. The appellant was taken back into the operating room where Dr. Simmons examined the interior of her vagina. He identified a 'bleeder' near the left side of the vaginal cuff, placed a clamp on this bleeder and then placed a figure eight suture in the left side of the vaginal wall (which is also in close proximity to the bladder wall), and thereafter removed the clamp. This procedure resulted in a cessation of the vaginal bleeding. Dr. Bass saw plaintiff the following morning and each day thereafter until she was discharged from the hospital. The appellant returned home seven days after her operation.

On the second day after she returned home, and approximately nine days after the operation, plaintiff experienced a sudden gushing of urine from her vagina. She had never had this problem prior to the surgery performed by Dr. Bass. She talked with Dr. Bass by telephone after this episode and he advised her to wear sanitary napkins; however, she further stated that this precaution was insufficient to impede flow. Plaintiff returned to Dr. Bass' office on January 14, approximately one month after the aforementioned operation, for additional treatment. On examination of the patient, he found water in her vagina, but was unable to locate any hole or perforation between the vagina and the bladder. He prescribed two different medications at that time in order to correct the appellant's problem. However, appellant did not respond to this treatment and returned to Dr. Bass' office a second time.

During this second visit, Dr. Bass determined that there was definitely a hole or opening between the bladder and vagina which should not have been there and fitted plaintiff with an indwelling catheter in order to take pressure off of the bladder so that it might heal properly. She was also placed on medication at this time to cut down on the possibility of infection which normally accompanies the insertion of a catheter. Dr. Bass planned to leave the catheter in for approximately two weeks; however, plaintiff returned one week later, on January 30, 1967, still complaining of drippage. Dr. Bass placed her back in the hospital and called in Dr. Cyrus Johnson, a urologist, in hope that he could find the exact spot in the bladder where the leakage was occurring.

Dr. Johnson examined plaintiff on January 31, 1967, and his examination, normally referred to as a pyelogram, revealed a normal upper urinary tract. Further examination by means of a cystoscope revealed that she had a small dimple or opening near the left ureteral orifice. The ureteral orifice is the opening of the tube which leads from the bladder to the kidneys. Dr. Johnson suspected this dimple to be a vescio-vaginal fistula, which is an abnormal opening between the bladder and the vagina that would cause spillage of urine into the vagina. However, a 'dye test' seemed to indicate that this hole was not large enough for any fluid to pass from the bladder into the vagina. The second possibility that occurred to Dr. Johnson was that the plaintiff might have an uretero-vaginal fistula, which is an opening between the ureter and the vagina. Dye tests seemed to confirm this hypothesis and a ureteral catheter was inserted through the bladder, up the left ureter and into the kidney, in hopes that the ureter would remain dry and the fistula would heal. However, plaintiff continued to experience vaginal leakage, and after five to six days the catheter was removed and she was discharged from the hospital on February 8, 1967.

Thereafter, plaintiff returned to Dr. Johnson's office on February 17 and underwent a number of tests. She was cystoscoped once again and the small dimple in the bladder was again observed and probed. Dr. Johnson could push a small probe approximately one-half inch into the opening of this dimple; but the opening was not large enough so that the probe could be pushed from the bladder into the vagina. The ureter was again examined and a ureteral vaginal fistula was ruled out. Based on these tests, Dr. Johnson concluded that the cause of plaintiff's trouble was a small vescio-vaginal fistula, which would stretch sufficiently when the bladder was full to allow urine to leak from the bladder into the vagina. In...

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33 cases
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    ...for every untoward result which may occur in medical practice; and a physician is not a warrantor against bad results." Dazet v. Bass, 254 So.2d 183, 187 (Miss.1971). situated. Hickox v. Holleman, 502 So.2d 626, 634 (Miss.1987). Additionally, the attorney-client relationship is of a fiducia......
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    • January 30, 1985
    ...the point for appeal, must place in the record the substance of what the excluded testimony would have been. See, e.g., Dazet v. Bass, 254 So.2d 183, 187-188 (Miss.1971). This is for the obvious purpose of enabling this Court on appeal to consider whether the excluded testimony was of any r......
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