Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Indiana

Second surgery required - sponge left

I took my lover to the emergency room on a Friday night for sever abdominal pain and constant throwing up. They diagnosed stomach flu, gave him pain killers and something for nausea and sent him home.

On Saturday night, I took him back to the emergency room, this time they diagnosed appendicitis and scheduled an emergency surgery. On Wednesday he started vomiting constantly, they did a cat scan. The Dr. who read the cat scan diagnosed appendicitis, until he was told the appendix had already been removed. They then determined he had a blocked bowel and an abscess where the appdendix had been. They had to do a second surgery, the bowel had knuckled over where it goes into the colon and had blocked, but there was no abscess. My lover remembers in the recovery room one Dr. asking if the surgeon had removed the rest of the appdendix and the surgeon replying it was a sponge. Is there a possible malpractice here?

Asked on 6/17/01, 8:39 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Second surgery required - sponge left

A patient is entitled to receive copies of his medical records. So your lover should ask for copies of the chart notes, operation reports and pathology reports (if any) for all visits. It is very unlikely that the surgeons and hospital staff would "cook the books," so you will be able to tell what happened. Leaving a sponge behind is definitely malpractice, and if it happened, you should confer with an attorney as soon as possible. There may be malpractice concerning the diagnoses, but that is much more difficult to establish.

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Answered on 6/29/01, 1:21 pm

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