A sponge being left inside of a patient is considered to be a "never event." In other words, it is something that a New York patient or anyone else should never have to experience. However, this is exactly what happened to one woman in Japan after she underwent two cesarean sections. The two sponges left behind were believed to be the cause of stomach bloat that she had experienced for several years.
It is thought that that the sponges were left in her body after one of the operations as opposed to one being left behind each time. The woman had to undergo another surgery to have the objects removed. After they were removed, the symptoms went away. According to the doctor who treated the patient, a surgical checklist could reduce the chances that such a mistake takes place.
While it is rare for a surgical instrument to remain in a person's body, the risk is generally higher in a gynecological surgery. One possible explanation is that the pelvis is a harder area of the body to reach. A study in 2010 found that girls under 18 who underwent such surgeries were four times more likely to have an object left inside of them compared to other children.
If a surgical error causes pain or other problems for a patient, he or she may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the surgeon. Other parties such as the hospital could additionally be named as defendants. An attorney may review a case to determine if an individual was the victim of negligence or malpractice. If so, a patient may be entitled to compensation for medical bills incurred and lost wages.