Woman With Surgical Sponge Left in Body Receives $425,000 Settlement | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Surgeons and nurses left a sponge inside our client’s body after performing a hysterectomy. The foreign object was not discovered until six months later, and our client experienced serious health problems during that time.

Removing the sponge required a second surgery, which revealed a fistula in our client’s bowel. A third surgery called a bowel resection was needed to close that abnormal connection between sections of our client’s intestines. That procedure involves removing part of the lower digestive tract and then placing the patient on a special diet, sometimes for life.

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Key Legal Strategy

We filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who performed the hysterectomy on our client and against the hospital where that first surgery was conducted.

Expert testimony from an OB/GYN, a nurse and a vascular surgeon who was involved in the corrective procedures proved that the medical malpractice defendants had failed to meet the applicable medical standards of care and nursing standards of care, We also obtained a series of detailed pictures that showed the damage done to our client’s bowel by the surgical sponge that the first negligent surgical team left inside her body.

This overwhelming evidence of their surgical error and the harm it inflicted on our client caused the defendant hospital and physician to settle the case for $425,000 approximately 45 days before the civil trial was scheduled to start.

Our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys fight hard for victims of surgical errors. To learn more about personal injury cases involving a surgery on the wrong patient, a surgery on the wrong body part or organ, or an improper surgical procedure, read this report prepared by our legal team.

Court and Date: Richmond Civil General District Court, 2002

Staff: Staff attorney