Lake Charles
Baton Rouge

Doctor negligence claimed by Louisiana widow in husband's death

During any surgery, doctors use numerous tools, equipment and other surgical instruments.  Ordinarily, established procedures at hospitals here in Louisiana and around the country are in place to ensure that none of the surgeon's tools, including sponges, are left inside the patient.  However, on occasion, objects from surgeries have been left in patients, causing serious and even deadly health issues due to doctor negligence. 

One Louisiana widow believes that negligence on the part of her husband's doctor led to an infection that ultimately took his life.  Her husband underwent a surgical procedure to biopsy his abdomen due to some unexplained plaque.  That procedure left her husband with pain for which the doctor reopened his abdomen.  Bleeding there was stopped with surgical sponges.

It was after this procedure that he developed sepsis and kidney failure.  A foreign body was found in his abdomen during a CT scan.  The object was removed, and it was determined to have been a sponge left there during his second surgical procedure.  The infection, presumably from the sponge, precluded his abdominal wounds from properly closing.  This left the man uncomfortable and in a great deal of pain in the months between the third procedure and his death.

Due to a belief that the proximate cause of her husband's death was doctor negligence, the woman recently filed a medical malpractice claim against the physician responsible for leaving the sponge behind and others.  If a Louisiana court sustains her claim that the actions or inactions of the party or parties deemed responsible for his death were negligent, she may be awarded financial damages.  Any monetary restitution she receives will not change her husband's fate, but it could help her with the financial losses she has undoubtedly sustained concerning her husband's medical treatment and subsequent death.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Widow claims medical malpractice after sponge left in husband allegedly led to severe infection", Kyle Barnett, Sept. 29, 2014


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