On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Surgical Errors on Thursday, July 24, 2014.

No matter the nature of a surgery, going under the knife can cause anxiety in some patients. Most Texas patients likely expect that their attending surgeon will be thorough in every aspect of the procedure, but sadly this is not always the case. Foreign objects left in a person after surgery can pose serious health risks.

In Feb. 2009, a woman underwent surgery in her abdominal area. The surgery lasted 17 hours, and apparently a shift change even occurred during that time. When it was discovered that they had not accounted for all of the sponges used during the surgery an X-ray was performed to find the missing ones. However, the surgeons apparently did not actually review the X-ray and simply removed what they believed to be the last missing sponge.

The X-ray later revealed that there was still another sponge left in the woman after surgery was completed. Two subsequent attempts to extract the remaining sponge failed, and during one of the surgeries the woman’s spleen was injured. In Oct. 2009, a different surgeon was finally able to remove the remaining sponge. However, her husband believes that, at that point, the damage was already done.

In May 2010, the woman passed away from what her husband claims were a series of medical problems related to the sponge as well as the multiple attempts to remove it. He has since filed a medical malpractice suit against the surgeon and multiple other health care providers, including attending nurses, for failing to account for the number of sponges in his wife, leaving one inside of her and also for her subsequent death. Texas patients suffering from foreign objects that were not removed during a surgery may be facing similar health care problems and might find a similar course of action to be the appropriate steps to take. The successful litigation of a medical malpractice claim can compensate an injured patient for their pain and suffering due to a health care worker’s mistake or negligence, and it can also provide financial compensation for any related medical bills.

Source: daytondailynews.com, “Sponge left in woman’s body leads to medical malpractice suit”, Mark Gokavi, July 14, 2014