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Lawsuit pending against hospital after sponge left inside woman

Pennsylvania residents may have heard about a California woman's experience following a hysterectomy surgery in 2007. She recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Simi Valley Hospital in Ventura County after a sponge left behind in the 2007 surgery required the removal of nearly half of her intestines.

According to the suit, the woman began experiencing pain just three days following the hysterectomy. X-rays were taken, and hospital staff told her that her problem was due to constipation. She returned to the hospital sometime during the following year after she fainted only to be told by medical staff that she had gastrointestinal problems.

In 2011, she visited her gynecologist after she began to suffer from vaginal bleeding, and she was told she had an ovarian cyst. A surgery was performed to remove her ovaries, and doctors found a surgical sponge that was mistakenly left in her abdomen during the hysterectomy. Since the sponge was encased in scar tissue, half of her intestines needed to be removed to take out the sponge. The California Department of Public Health investigated the incident and fined the hospital $25,000 in 2012.

Findings from statistical reports have shown that about 20 percent of people who undergo surgery suffer injuries from medical mistakes. Surgical errors such operating on the wrong body part or leaving a surgical device in a patient could result in catastrophic injuries and pain, leaving a person's life permanently altered in many cases.

Whenever a person becomes a victim of medical malpractice, he or she may be able to seek the advice of a local attorney who is experienced in this field. By thoroughly analyzing the facts of a particular case, an attorney might find evidence proving that the hospital or medical professionals were liable in causing the person's injuries. In a successful claim, the plaintiff could be compensated for their pain and suffering.

Source: New York Daily News, "California woman sues hospital after forgotten surgical sponge forces removal of intestines ", Deborah Hastings, June 18, 2014

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