It seems like the fodder for urban legends. A woman went in to a Philadelphia hospital for a cesarean-section delivery, and ended up with a large sponge left inside her abdomen when the incision was closed.
According to the Courier Times of Philadelphia two nurses acted negligently when they failed to remove one of the sponges used during the surgery performed at Lower Bucks Hospital, and acted negligently when they failed to perform a required sponge count following the surgery.
Standard medical procedures require that three sponge counts be completed during the course of the operation: once before surgery, once before the abdomen is closed, and once when the surgery is completed. The fact that, despite these requirements, a sponge was still left inside the patient shows an egregious lack of care.
The doctor performing the surgery maintained that he relied on the two nurses to accurately complete the sponge count.
As a result of this medical negligence, the victim suffered a perforated bowel, bowel obstruction that required subsequent surgery, extreme pain, and numerous other complications. A jury awarded more than $500,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the two nurses and the hospital at which the surgery was performed.
The jury’s verdict has the potential to be increased to more than three-quarters of a million dollars which would represent the interest accrued on the verdict since 2005, when the suit was filed.
Fortunately cases involving sponges left inside surgery patients are relatively uncommon, but medical malpractice cases can have devastating consequences. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have seen hundreds of cases of medical negligence, and have fought tirelessly for the rights of those harmed by health care providers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, an attorney may be the right person to help you determine your rights.