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Medical negligence suit filed after surgical tool left in patient

While it happened on the other side of the country, a recent surgical error may have many people in Massachusetts thinking twice before they schedule their next operation. A woman has filed a medical negligence lawsuit against a doctor and hospital. It is claimed that the physician left a surgical tool inside her body after an operation.

In April 2017, the plaintiff says she went to the hospital for an operation to remove a benign abdominal tumor. Initially, the surgery was believed to have been a success, and the patient was discharged from the hospital. However, when she began experiencing severe kidney, abdominal and back pain, she sought medical help at an emergency room at a different medical center less than two weeks later.

It was during this ER visit that physicians discovered a pair of 8-inch long forceps had been left inside the woman during her recent abdominal surgery. To make matters worse, the lawsuit asserts, an exploratory laparotomy determined that the woman's small intestines had looped through the handle of the surgical instrument, necessitating the removal of 18 inches of the plaintiff's small intestine. The woman had to undergo an additional surgery to remove the foreign object from her body.

The lawsuit requests undisclosed damages to help cover both medical and incidental expenses, as well as past and future loss of earnings. A Massachusetts study attempted to determine the cause of incidents like these, which are fairly rare but unfortunately still occur, with approximately 1,500 cases of foreign objects left inside patients' bodies after surgical procedures on an annual basis. If anyone in North Adams or the surrounding area has suffered serious injury due to this or other types of medical negligence, there area local lawyers whose practices focus on medical malpractice cases.

Source: king5.com, "Doctors forgot to remove 8-inch long forceps after surgery, woman claims", Damon Arthur, Jan. 4, 2018

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