Certain Tennessee residents hold deep fears of surgical errors and other mistakes made during serious medical procedures. In many cases, these fears arise when surgery is in their near future. Many are aware of the risks of being subjected to surgical errors, and their fear is simply their mind’s way of dealing with the risks associated with the unknown and that which we cannot control.
When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, he or she cedes all control over to the surgeon and medical team assigned to complete the process. This is in and of itself a scary proposition. However, when the media picks up a new or exceptionally shocking medical malpractice case associates with surgical errors, these fears can skyrocket.
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Such may be the case for readers who are aware of a current lawsuit based on a surgical sponge being left inside of a woman’s body. The patient underwent a 17-hour surgical procedure, during which shift changes took place. A routine count of surgical tools revealed that the sponge count was off, and an X-ray was conducted to determine the placement of the missing sponge.
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The surgeon was able to locate and remove a sponge from the woman’s body and completed the surgery. However, he failed to look at the X-ray, which showed another sponge in a different area of the woman’s abdomen. That sponge was left inside her body at the conclusion of the procedure. She went on to experience significant medical issues, and multiple attempts were made to remove the sponge. Eventually, it was removed, but the woman still lost her life.
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Within the recent hearing, attorneys for the woman’s family asserted that the medical team and surgeon share responsibility for the mistake that they claim led to the patient’s death. Attorneys for the other side claim that it is the woman’s poor health, not surgical errors, that led to her death. As the medical malpractice case moves forward, readers in Tennessee and elsewhere will watch to see how the court approaches the matter.