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Surgeon leaves towel inside patient

Medical malpractice causes harm to hospital patients in Ohio and across the country every year. One hospital has been fined $86,000 after a surgeon left a towel inside a patient. In addition to the fine, the hospital will also likely be facing a civil lawsuit.

The patient was undergoing an operation to have his bladder and prostate removed in April of 2014. After surgery, he reported feeling much worse. Approximately a month later, he reported feeling that he had no energy or stamina and had lost 43 pounds.

When the patient returned to his doctor and reported the problems he was having, he was told he had some type of mass inside his body and that he would need another surgery. The patient agreed to the surgery, believing that he might be suffering from cancer. When doctors operated, they found a blue towel had been left inside his body during the first surgery.

The problem was caused in part because surgeons were counting tools during the first surgery but were not keeping track of towels they were using. The hospital has made changes to its policies and procedures since it discovered the error.

The surgeon who left the towel behind will likely be held liable for medical malpractice, and the flaw in the hospital's policy is an example of hospital negligence. The patient may choose to sue both the surgeon and the hospital where the procedure was performed.

Some patients may not realize an item was left behind after surgery until some time later. Some states have enacted statutes that toll the period of time for filing a lawsuit until such objects are discovered. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help a person who believes they have been victimized by medical malpractice.

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