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Woman suffers horrific INTERNAL burns after 'catastrophic equipment failure' during routine gynae operation
Jo Partridge, 36, visited hospital for the routine procedure thermal ablationInvolved inserting balloon filled with 87C water to burn womb lining
But was left scalded after balloon burst inside her during freak accident
She was then left untreated for internal burns by medics for five days11 months later she remains in pain and has had 35 operations to recover
15:26 GMT, 23 April 2013
15:49 GMT, 23 April 2013
A woman suffered horrific internal burns after scalding water burst from a medical balloon while it was still inside her.
Jo Partridge, 36, from Christchurch, New Zealand, spent seven weeks in the burns unit of the Christchurch Hospital after the medical accident.
In May last year, Mrs Partridge underwent a procedure called thermal ablation – an internal gynecological procedure.
Painful: Scott Partridge (left) has lost his job and his wife Jo (right) remains in pain after the botched procedure
But four minutes into the procedure, the intrauterine balloon containing a saline solution, heated to 86C, burst inside her, The New Zealand Herald reported.
There are different types of endometrial ablation but the two most common are microwave endometrial ablation and thermal balloon ablation.
Both are used to get rid of the lining of the womb. Most commonly this is because of extremely heavy, painful periods or fibroids, non-cancerous tumours that grow on the uterus wall.
Microwave endometrial ablation uses a probe that emits microwave energy to heat up and destroy the womb lining.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIAL ABLATION
The two most common forms of ablation are microwave endometrial
ablation and thermal balloon ablation.
Both are used to get rid of the
lining of the uterus.
Most commonly this is because of heavy periods or fibroids (non-cancerous tumours that grow on the
Microwave endometrial ablation emits microwave energy to heat up and destroy the lining.
Thermal balloon ablation involves a water-filled balloon being heated to destroy the lining.
The procedures are quick to perform,
taking around 20 minutes in total.
It can be carried out under general
or local anaesthetic.
Most patients can go home the same
Some patients may experience tummy cramps for a few days after the procedure, but this can be treated with painkillers.
Thermal balloon ablation – the type that Mrs partridge had – involves a balloon being inserted into the womb and being inflated and heated to destroy the lining.
The procedures are common and quick to perform, taking around 20 minutes in total. It can be carried out under general or local anaesthetic.
Most patients can go home on the same day.
Some patients may experience stomach cramps, similar to period pains, for a few days but this can be treated with painkillers.
Mrs Partridge underwent the procedure at Grey Base Hospital and was under general anaesthetic during the ablation.
She said she felt the pain as soon as she regained consciousness.
She also said she was left for five days with no internal treatment.
And 11 months after Mrs Partridge’s ordeal, she says she is still unable to allow her children to sit on her lap, due to pressure on her pelvis.
She has undergone surgery over 35 times and says she is unable to lead a normal life.
Mr Partridge has lost his job due to having to take time off work to look after their young children and his wife.
A hospital report said the surgical method had been used on the West Coast of New Zealand since 2004 without incident.
The staff were properly trained, and testing of the machine found no faults.
However, the report also recommended the thermal ablation system be permanently removed from the hospital.
The West Coast District Health Board has apologised for a ‘catastrophic equipment failure’ but maintains its hospital staff are ‘competent and capable’.
The District health Board's own root cause analysis report said 'immediate cooling measures were not undertaken'.
Mrs Partridge and her husband Scott took legal advice before going public about her experience, and are limited in what they can say.
But, they say they have one message that do want to make heard: 'Staff should be stood down while the Health and Disability Commissioner is investigating.'