Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Georgia

Sponge left, Emergency Surg, Anest. Puncture Lung

Two weeks ago my mother had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor - due to colorectal cancer. She came through the surgery well, within two days she was moving about and showing progress. Within five or six days - she began to regress in her recovery. The medical staff seemed to believe that she may be afraid to go home alone following such a drastic surgery and now having a colostomy bag. Both children began promting her that she has to get up and move around or she will never get better. Exactly two weeks later, the doctor ordered an x-ray - then a CAT scan - then states emergency surgery is needed to remove a sponge left during original surgery. Within in two hours she was in surgery - @ 2 hours later the doctor returned to tell us that she is going to go to ICU for a day or two. He stated they were able to remove the sponge using the same suture line as orignal surgery, there was fluid and it was cultured. He then explained that during the anesthesia portion of the surgery, her lung was punctured during the midline catherization. She now has a chest tube in addition to reinsertion of the nasal canula and additional surgical pain. Is this a case for medical malpractice or does it fall under informed consent? Thank you.

Asked on 10/16/06, 11:48 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Windholz Robert S. Windholz, Attorney At Law

Re: Sponge left, Emergency Surg, Anest. Puncture Lung

Sorry to hear about your mother's recent problem.

This case is definitely one that should be reviewed. A sponge that is not removed from the body during surgery is one of the most classic cases of malpractice. These cases are the most simple type to prove and probably have the best results for injured plaintiffs. It is our experience that insurance carriers will offer to settle these cases more readily than most other types of medical negligence cases. Check my web site if you wish to see our background.

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Answered on 10/18/06, 8:44 am
Glenn Loewenthal Glenn Loewenthal, P.C.

Re: Sponge left, Emergency Surg, Anest. Puncture Lung

I'm sorry to hear about the trouble your mother had. Anytime a sponge is left in, there is a potential malpractice case. In her case, if the additional complications were the result of having to go back in to remove the sponge, she could have additional damages. Generally, retained sponge cases do not involve a lot of damages and most attorneys will not take them without additional damages. Since in her case there could be additional damages, I would be happy to review the case to see if there is a viable case. My firm does mostly medical malpractice cases and we do have experience in this type of case. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to set up an appointment.

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Answered on 10/17/06, 10:55 am

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