A 21-year-old woman in New Zealand was badly burned and feared she may never have children after a horrifying medical blunder. She has been offered a $50 fuel voucher by way of apology.
The woman, choosing to remain anonymous, spoke to the Herald NZ about the experience. She went to Wellington’s Wakefield Specialist Centre for a colposcopy after an abnormal smear test. The acetic acid used in the 15 minute procedure should have been diluted to 5% but was instead 100% concentration.
It caused severe internal burns.
Newtown Mall Pharmacy labelled the acid and is investigating what went wrong. Three days after the incident the woman received a letter from the pharmacy, which apologised for the acid mix up.
The letter, signed by directors Mark Newtown and John Phipps, said they would be checking systems to avoid this happening in future and finished with “please accept the enclosed voucher to cover your travel costs relating to your readmission to the clinic.”
Someone, somewhere should be sued for much more than a $50 fuel voucher.
The traumatised woman endured “horrific pain” while the undiluted solution was applied to her vagina. She thought the pain was part of the procedure but it intensified over a 24-hour timeframe.
She realised something had gone terribly wrong and contacted the clinic. They sent the solution for testing and it came back as 100% concentration not 5%.
The 21-year-old has been in and out of hospital for three months now and the onus has been put on her to flip the medical bills, coming in at $1,500 – $2,000.
“I wasn’t allowed to walk anywhere. I couldn’t sit down because it hurt so badly,” the woman said. She has managed to avoid reconstructive surgery and skin grafts and it sounds like the burns have healed.
The woman is now seeking compensation for her medical bills and her family has lodged a complaint with the Health and Disabilities Commissioner (HDC) in New Zealand.
Files confirm that another woman had been affected by the error after the undiluted acetic acid was used on her too.
I cannot imagine how painful this must have been for her. The ignorance in sending a $50 fuel voucher as compensation is absurd. I hope she is properly compensated for the epic fuck up and the stress endured.