No one wants to hear this but it's the truth: sometimes – a medical instrument is left in a patient's body. Of course, we would hope that none of these incidents are intentional. These incidents happen more often than they should: which should be never. However, if these things do happen to you please call us so we can help you with your medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are some stories about people that this has happened to:
Forceps in Her Abdomen
Mary Harber, a resident of California, is suing the Shasta Regional Medical Center and the doctor that operated on her for negligence. In 2017, Harber had a benign tumor removed from her abdomen at the Medical Center. After the surgery, the doctors discharged Harber. Soon after the surgery, she started complaining of extreme back pain. Harber again went to the emergency room. During this ER visit, the doctor discovered that there were forceps in her abdomen. The doctors removed the forceps and Harber is in recovery.
Lost Blue Towel
This patient has remained anonymous through the media coverage of this case. After the surgery, the patient had claimed to lose 43 pounds in the span of a month along with having no energy, stamina, or the feeling of living much longer. After going back to the hospital to see what was wrong with his stomach, they discovered a blue towel from the previous surgery in his stomach. This case has brought about change in the hospital systems. Accounting for all tools after surgery was very strict but counting how many towels there were was not a big deal. After this lawsuit, the hospital changed its policy to more strict on how to account for surgical towels.
Three Years Too Long
A few years ago, a woman had surgery to remove a hydatid cyst from her liver. The surgery went as planned and there were no complications. However, three years later this woman excreted part of surgical forceps. Consequently, she went to the emergency room to see what was going on. After some x-rays, the doctor noted surgical instruments in her abdomen. This woman went into surgery. The doctors removed the forceps to find that they had become corroded and had become black in color. Miraculously, the woman did not sustain any lasting medical problems.
Sponge Left Behind
Carol Critchfield went into for a standard hysterectomy and bladder-support surgery in 2007. Days after the surgery, Carol was admitted to the emergency room again after complaining to her husband of sharp pains in her abdomen. They didn't listen and sent her home. Four years later, Carol went to the emergency room after she fainted at work. Surgeons discover a mass in her abdomen after removing her ovaries. The surgeon came back and told them that the mass was not a mass at all; a sponge left behind during the previous surgery. Doctors removed the sponge, along with a large portion of her intestine. She decided to sue the hospital and the doctors and radiologist involved in her first surgery on the grounds of negligence.
18 Years Inside
If you can believe it, this is the craziest story on this page. Vietnamese man was in the emergency room after a motor vehicle accident. The ultrasound that the doctors performed showed a 6-inch instrument in his stomach. A pair of scissors left there 18 years ago! The scissors had rusted and broken apart in his abdomen. However, the article does not say if he is suing the hospital, but this extreme case is a great example of how things need to change.
These types of cases happen far too often. Doctor's negligence can cause some serious repercussions for their patients. Carol had her ovaries removed and had to live with extreme pain for four years. George Tait Law, LLC can help you with these kinds of cases. Still, doctors need to be held accountable when they make a mistake and we are here to hold them to that accountability.