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Woman sues hospital after surgery mistake

A California woman recently filed a lawsuit against Simi Valley Hospital after it was discovered that a sponge left in her abdomen from a 2007 hysterectomy surgery resulted in the removal of a portion of her intestines. In addition to the hospital, the surgeon and radiologist involved in prior check-ups were also named as defendants in the medical malpractice suit.

In 2007, the woman went to the hospital for a routine bladder-support and hysterectomy surgery. However, three days after the operation, she returned to the hospital when she began experiencing painful symptoms, and medical staff reportedly told her she was severely constipated. A year later, she became ill again and returned to the hospital where she was then told she had a gastrointestinal issue. In 2011, her symptoms included bleeding, and a gynecologist suspected she had an ovarian cyst. During surgery to remove her ovaries, a sponge encased in scar tissue was found in her abdomen, and in order to remove it, a large portion of her intestines required removal.

According to her attorney, the sponges used in the 2007 surgery were not accurately counted and that hospital staff had multiple opportunities to correct the mistake. As a result of the surgical error, the woman has experienced emotional distress. In 2012, the California Department of Public Health fined the hospital $25,000 for the incident. Since the ordeal, a statement released from the hospital says that they implemented new guards in order to promote patient safety.

When a patient suffers injury due to medical negligence, they may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. An attorney may review hospital records to determine if multiple parties can be held accountable.

Source: CBS, "Patient Sues Hospital After Forgotten Surgical Sponge Costs Her Portion Of Intestine," July 17, 2014

Source: New York Daily News, "California woman sues hospital after forgotten surgical sponge forces removal of intestines ", Deborah Hastings, June 18, 2014

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