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Beschreibung des Verlags

WILKINS, Justice. This is an action of contract or tort against a physician specializing in obstetrics. The declaration is in three counts. Counts 1 and 2 are respectively in contract and tort, and allege an undertaking by the defendant to care for the plaintiff Mary Woronka (hereinafter called the plaintiff) 'before, during, and for some time after the birth of her child' and negligent treatment causing burns on the buttocks which resulted in keloids. Count 3 is by the plaintiff's husband for consequential damages. G.L. (Ter.Ed.) c. 231, § 6A, as inserted by St.1939, c. 372, § 1. The Judge directed verdicts for the defendant. The jury could have found the facts hereinafter set forth. On May 7, 1940, the plaintiff, then pregnant, and her husband consulted the defendant, an obstetrician, who undertook to treat the plaintiff before, during, and for as long after childbirth as she should need care, 'no matter what resulted.' He saw her 16 times in the pre-natal period. About 11 p. m. on December 20 the plaintiff, who was in mild labor and three weeks overdue, entered a lying-in hospital in Boston, where the defendant had arranged for her room. The baby, which was her first and a large one, was born about 2:10 a. m. on December 22. The plaintiff had a difficult labor of 35 hours, and delivery was by the use of forceps after the defendant had performed an operation known as an episiotomy. She was in the delivery room on a hospital bed 'for a good many hours,' and was moved onto the delivery table when ready for delivery and then given ether anesthesia. About 12 minutes after anesthesia had started, in order to sterilize the field of operation, the defendant applied Scott's solution to the legs, to the perineum, and to an area extending half way from the public bone to the umbilicus. The ingredients of Scott's solution are mercurochrome, distilled water, 95 per cent alcohol, and a chemical known as acetone (a solvent, which has a tendency to dry up). During the delivery, which consumed 'perhaps an hour and ten minutes,' the plaintiff, draped with sterile sheets and towels, lay on her back with her legs held by nurses, her buttocks resting on the 'bed' where the defendant was operating. 'She was lying on a rubber sheet at the time of delivery; the rubber sheet was put just under her buttocks. She was lying on a hospital sheet, the rest of her body on a sterile towel between the rubber sheet and her buttocks.' During the course of delivery he had another doctor as an assistant. The defendant 'was theoretically in charge of the delivery room at the time of the delivery.' The nurses were under his directions and orders. Compare Guell v. Tenney, 262 Mass. 54, 55, 56, 159 N.E. 451.

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