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Surgical error leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

Surgery patients leave the operating table with the hope and expectation that the cause of their unhealthy condition is either corrected or removed. However, there are some instances when, following surgery, patients find themselves in a worsened state due to some form of medical negligence. A surgery gone wrong in 2009 that took the life of a woman has led to a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case, which already gathered a lot of attention when the news first came out five years ago, is something that Maryland patients and medical practitioners alike should learn from.

The patient's husband claimed that following a 17-hour surgery, the staff allegedly left a sponge inside the patient's body. The error caused health complications that contributed to her death. Court documents showed that an organization of state physicians admitted that there was indeed a sponge left inside the patient for seven months. Though there were two attempts to remove the object, the attempts failed on both occasions. Nonetheless, the physicians denied that the sponge was ultimately the reason for the patient's death.

To establish that the object that was left in her body contributed to the condition of the woman, the husband sought a second opinion from a clinic. The clinic confirmed that the presence of the sponge brought about the complications. In a subsequent nine-hour surgery, the sponge was extracted at the clinic.

Besides the medical malpractice claim, a wrongful death lawsuit was also filed against the doctor, several technicians and numerous medical staff. Surgical errors and other medical mistakes can be avoided if doctors and their staff perform their duties with utmost quality and concern for their safety. Anything less is a deviation of standard care. In such cases, the family of Maryland patients who died due to negligence can file a legal action to hold the responsible party accountable.

Source: Dayton Daily News, "Sponge left in woman's body leads to medical malpractice suit," Mark Gokavi, July 14, 2014

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