Sponge found in woman’s belly 15 years after surgery

August 1st, 2011 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 1 (IANS) An Australian court has allowed a woman to sue a surgeon after he allegedly left a piece of sponge inside her stomach during an operation 15 years ago.

Helen Caroline Anne O’Hagan claims the sponge was left inside her abdominal cavity by a surgeon named Samuel Sakker during a colectomy he performed in August 1992, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The New South Wales district court was told that over time the sponge “became encapsulated in dense fibrous adhesions within a sac of fluid”, and was only discovered in October 2007 after an X-ray was done.

The judge has awarded O’Hagan the right to sue Sakker for alleged negligence. Her solicitor has now filed a statement of claim.

Sakker has sought to have the case thrown out, arguing that it was improbable that she did not discover the sponge sooner.

He said he had no recollection of treating O’Hagan and a search of his archives failed to locate any medical records. He said he never failed to sign the instrument count at the end of an operation after a count was made by a nurse.

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