As we have discussed previously on this blog, it is very important for hospitals and medical professionals to make sure that surgical materials aren't unintentionally left inside of patients.
Patients can suffer great harm when surgical materials are mistakenly left inside of them. For example, left behind objects can expose patients to pain and infections. Also, left behind objects can cause patients to have to undergo additional surgeries (in order to have the left behind object removed).
Recently, a medical malpractice case has arisen in California regarding an alleged left behind surgical material. The case involves a 50-year-old man who allegedly underwent a surgery at a California hospital several years ago. The man claims that during this surgery, a surgical sponge was mistakenly left inside his abdomen. According to the man, the sponge's presence inside of him was discovered this year.
The man has now brought a medical malpractice lawsuit in California against the hospital in connection to these allegations. According to the San Jose Mercury News article which reported this story, the hospital has not commented on these allegations.
The allegations in this case are troubling. No patient should have to be subjected to having a surgical material mistakenly left inside of him or her. Thus, one hopes that medical professionals and hospitals that provide patients with care during surgeries take care to avoid negligently leaving surgical materials behind inside of patients. If hospitals and medical professionals fail to do this, they could be exposing their patients to harm.
Source: The San Jose Mercury News, "San Rafael man sues Novato hospital, claiming sponge left in gut," Gary Klien, 21 Jun 2011