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Surgeons On Trial For Retained Sponge Saga

Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:29am

Two doctors and a Hershey, PA surgeon are being accused of leaving surgical sponges in woman during multiple operations between 1993 – 1999, including one for removing a previously forgotten sponge.

The suit claims that the sponges left in the patient’s abdomen eventually caused problems significant enough to require follow-up surgery that entailed removing her uterus and ovaries. The suit claims that a surgical laparotic sponge pack was first left in Kelly Garman's abdomen when he delivered her child by Caesarian section in 1993. When medical problems later developed, doctors told her she had a uterine fibroid, but rather the lap pack was discovered during exploratory surgery in 1997.

Garman delivered her second child in 1999, again by Caesarian section. When Garman went to the doctor in March 2006 for a routine physical exam, she was found to have an intra-abdominal mass, and a CT scan showed the mass contained a piece of material consistent with a foreign body from a prior surgery. That mass, another surgical sponge, was removed in May 2006.

The suit claims Garman suffered severe injuries, including increased growth of adhesions, loss of portions of her small bowel, increased chances of future bowel problems and loss of her uterus, ovaries and her ability to have additional children, as a result of the physicians' failure to remove the sponge or sponges from her abdomen during the surgeries.

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