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It took five months for a Czech woman to discover the reason for her abdominal pain – surgeons had left a medical tool inside her abdomen. Doctors at a clinic in the southeastern town of Ivancice discovered their colleagues had forgotten to remove a spatula-like surgical instrument from the woman following gynecological surgery in September.

Top regional official Michal Hasek apologized to Zdenka Kopeckova, 66, and said that the region, which is in charge of the clinic, plans to compensate her. Clinic head Jaromir Hrubes blamed “a series of individual failures” and said four employees had been punished. The woman, who complained repeatedly to her doctors about the pain, plans to sue.

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