Foreign object left in abdomen leads to medical malpractice suit

Foreign objects left inside the bodies of patients during surgery is quite a rare occurrence, and estimates of the frequency of such incidents varies widely. One study in a medical journal showed that 1,500 of approximately 28.4 million surgeries per year nationwide, including in Arizona, were recorded as cases in which foreign materials remained in the patients after surgery. A woman in a neighboring state recently filed a medical malpractice claim against a medical facility and a doctor who performed a surgical procedure on her.

According to court documents, the 52-year-old woman went to the medical center for the removal of a benign abdominal tumor last April. For approximately two weeks after her discharge from the hospital, the plaintiff contends she suffered abdominal, kidney and back pain so severe that she visited the emergency room of another hospital in the beginning of May. During this visit, ER doctors identified the cause of the pain to be a foreign object.

Reportedly, she had to undergo a second surgical procedure during which an 8-inch surgical forceps was removed from her abdomen, along with 18 inches of small intestine which had looped through the instrument's handle. It is further alleged that the defendant doctor was involved in both surgical procedures. The plaintiff claims that she will need additional medical treatment and thus seeks recovery of past and future expenses.

Anyone in Arizona who is in a similar situation may find comfort knowing that the substantial unanticipated expenses that typically follow not one, but two surgical procedures may be recoverable through the civil justice system. With the support and guidance of an experienced attorney, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. The lawyer can assist with the presentation of the claim by proving negligence and documenting financial and emotional damages.

Source: redding.com, "Susanville woman says forceps left in her after surgery at Shasta Regional Medical Center", Damon Arthur, Dec. 31, 2017

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