Medical malpractice case filed after surgical error

Friday July 18, 2014

When someone has surgery in Connecticut, it’s a stressful time for the family and the patient. There are risks with any surgery, but when the surgical team commits a surgical error, it’s a risk that the patient and the family don’t expect. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often the result of such errors.

A medical malpractice lawsuit has reached the jury trial stage in another state. The lawsuit alleges that during a 17-hour long surgery in 2009, a medical sponge was left inside a 58-year-old woman, who passed away 15 months later. The lawsuit lists multiple defendants, including a doctor, nurses, scrub technicians and others.

The sponge was not discovered until five or six weeks later. The doctor attempted to remove the sponge, which was seen in the upper left of the abdomen on x-rays, during two surgeries. The woman suffered injuries to her spleen during one of the surgeries.

The sponge was finally located and removed during a third surgery, although an attorney for the woman’s husband said that the sponge left behind contributed to the woman’s death by causing her more medical problems. An attorney for the hospital said that there was a “deviation from standard care” during the surgery, blaming the medical team.

According to The Washington Post in 2012, 4,857 objects were left behind in patients between September 1990 and September 2010, with sponges being the most common object. When this happens and the patient suffers or dies because of it, a successful medical malpractice case can hold physicians, surgical teams and hospitals responsible. Compensation may be sought in such cases through civil court.

Source:  Dayton Daily News, “Sponge left in woman’s body leads to medical malpractice suit” Mark Gokavi, Jul. 14, 2014

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