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Posted Jun 28 2011 12:00am

A Virginia women was awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit brought against her infertility doctor for a stroke caused by his negligence during an IVF procedure.

Thirty-year old Maimunah Jafer was undergoing medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs during an IVF treatment when she developed a complication from the procedure known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. As a result of the complication Jafer suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to use one side of her body.
According to the details of the case, Jafer was at a particularly high risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation due to her low body mass, age and history of a hormonal disorder. However,the prosecution argued that her doctor failed to manage her infertility treatment accordingly and responded inappropriately when the stroke occurred.
In the trial, which concluded on May 2, 2011, the lawyers for the defense argued that Jafer was given full disclosure of risks. Nevertheless the jury found that the doctor should have altered his course of therapy and awarded her $1.5 million.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is a rare but very serious occurrence that happens as a result of hormone medications given in IVF procedures. When the ovaries become overstimulated they begin to leak fluid into the surrounding tissues which can then lead to blood clots, kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances, infertility and even death. In Jafer's case she lost so much fluid that her blood became very viscous, leading to the formation of a blood clot in her brain. This blood clot blocked blood flow to her cerebral tissue, causing a stroke.
The same medications given during an IVF procedure are also given to women who are a part of an egg donor program in an attempt to harvest multiple eggs for donation. It is because of these increased risks that women undergoing IVF procedures, including egg donors, undergo multiple tests to make sure they can tolerate the medications.
IVF is a fertility treatment used when a couple is having trouble becoming pregnant on their own due to many different factors including premature ovarian aging, polycystic ovarian syndrome, tubal infertility, or seeking pregnancy after tubal ligation .
Since the stroke Jafer has become pregnant on her own as well as regained partial function in her affected side.
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