An Ohio medical malpractice jury awarded $100,000 in an Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death case against a surgeon who admittedly left a surgical sponge in a patient after performing surgery.
The patient died fifteen months after the surgery and her family claimed in its Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit that the sponge left in her abdomen during surgery had led to her death, seeking damages for the woman’s death as well as for the family’s loss of consortium. The Ohio medical malpractice jury found that the defendant surgeon was negligent by leaving the sponge in the patient following surgery, but also found that the retained sponge did not contribute to the woman’s death. The Ohio medical malpractice jury did not award economic damages to the plaintiffs.
The family’s Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit was filed in 2010. The lawsuit alleged that the woman had abdominal surgery in February 2009 that lasted seventeen hours during which a laparotomy sponge remained in her body. There were two subsequent unsuccessful attempts to remove the sponge once it was discovered. The defendant admitted that a surgical sponge was left in the patient for about seven months, but died that it caused medical complications or led to her death.
A medical article published on January 5, 2017 stated: “Retained surgical bodies (RSB) are any foreign bodies left inside the patient after the operation and in general, a further procedure is necessary. The consequence of foreign bodies after surgery may manifest in different forms immediately after the operation, months or even years after the surgical procedure. With more than 28 million operations performed nationwide, the number of cases in which foreign bodies are left behind during a procedure in the United States has been estimated at around 1500 cases per year … The incidence of RSB is between 0.3 to 1.0 per 1,000 abdominal operations, and they occur due to a lack of organisation and communication between surgical staff during the process. Typically, the RSB are surgical sponges and instruments located in the abdomen, retroperitoneum and pelvis … sponges are the most many foreign bodies retained in the human body after surgery … These sponges may remain in the body for days, months or even years before manifesting as inflammatory reactions … Approximately 88% of RSB cases occur in a situation where the sponge and instrument counts were declared ‘correct’ … The retention of RSF after surgery has medical and legal implications, occurring as a result of mistakes by the entire medical team, not just the surgeon.”
If you may have been injured as a result of a foreign object, such as a retained sponge, left behind during a medical procedure in the United States, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your foreign object medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a foreign object medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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