On March 21st, a woman filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against Christus St. Mary Hospital, the doctor that performed her surgery and the Port Arthur Surgical Association for medical malpractice. She is seeking interest, damages and court costs. The woman underwent laparoscopy. During the final closure of the surgical site, the plaintiff claims a portion of the suturing needle broke off and fell into her abdomen. The surgeon attempted to recover the needle, but after he was unable to do so, he finished closing the site and sent the woman home to recover.
It is currently unknown whether he told her about the complication and the possible need for a second surgery. Several weeks later, she was forced to return to the hospital for a second surgery to remove the needle after she experienced severe pain and swelling.
Her experience with a negligent doctor is not the first time someone has suffered from medical objects being left in their bodies. Sometimes doctors cut corners and hope for the best, but it doesn’t happen, and their patients suffer unnecessarily as a result. In order for a malpractice suit to be founded, the woman’s attorney will have to prove that her doctor violated a duty of care by neglecting to remove the piece of needle from her abdomen. If the doctor failed to do what was necessary, did not try all possible alternatives and did not inform her of the complication, then he most likely violated his duty of care.
Medical malpractice cases can be serious and complicated issues. A patient’s suffering alone after surgery may not be enough to prove malpractice. Sorting these facts may be best done with the help of an attorney who understands the complexities and finer points of the issue.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Woman claims doctor left needle behind after laparoscopy“, Ben Hart, March 31, 2014