An American family is suing Texas Children’s Hospital after a four-year-old child was given an unintended vasectomy during an operation to treat a groin hernia. Dr Susan Jarosz severed the boy’s vas deferens, the tube that transfers sperm from the testes, while attempting to repair the hernia, according to court records acquired by ABC13.
The surgeon and risk management staff at Texas Children’s Hospital told the parents about the mistake, as well as the potential short and long-term consequences for the child. The boy’s fertility may be jeopardized as a result of the medical error. Dr. Jarosz and Texas Children’s Hospital are now being sued for $500,000 in damages, which is the maximum amount that may be given in a case like this.
According to News Observer, the lawsuit that was filed in Harris District Court on June 7 reads, “[The child] once he’s old enough to know about what happened and can process and accept it for himself, will be required to have this conversation with any future serious partners. There is a possibility that he may have to utilize assisted reproduction services to conceive. These are all considerations that the typical four-year-old does not have.”
The family’s lawyer, Randy Sorrels, said on Fox News, that the physician did not follow conventional protocol. He said, “The standard procedure is to properly identify the anatomy, and then you cut. I think the surgeon failed to properly identify the anatomy before cutting. I’ve seen this mistake happen in different cases, but never a surgeon who cuts the vas deferens of a four-year-old. That’s very rare, but it’s pretty simple. You properly identify the anatomy before you cut it.”
Sorrels added, “The worst long-term effect is the impact on the four-year-old’s reproductive process that will require him to go through artificial reproductive procedures. I don’t think it’ll be an impossibility to have children, but it could make it more difficult.” A spokesperson with the Texas Children’s Hospital said its ‘top priority is the health and well-being of our patients’. “Due to patient privacy requirements, we are unable to comment,” a spokesperson told ABC13.
Featured Image Credit: Texas Children’s Hospital