Sponge missed, second surgery needed
<court>St. Louis County (Mo) Circuit Court</court>
Several days after delivering a child by cesarean section, a woman began experiencing severe abdominal pain. Although no abnormality was noted on postoperative x-ray, a surgical sponge was later found in her abdomen, requiring surgical removal.
The woman claimed negligence was committed by the Ob/Gyn for not removing the sponge, the radiologist for not detecting its presence on x-ray, and the hospital team for inaccurately accounting for the sponges prior to surgical closure.
The Ob/Gyn testified that he relied on the surgical team to keep accurate track of the sponges used.
- The radiologist settled for an undisclosed sum. The jury awarded the plaintiff $175,000, with fault assigned at 20% to the Ob/Gyn, 20% to the radiologist, and 60% to the hospital.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.