Personal Injury Lawsuit Alleges A Monumental Medical Mistake
By Gerri Elder
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that of the more than 30 million inpatient surgeries performed in the United States each year, there are less than 1,500 reports of foreign objects being mistakenly left behind. The foreign objects that are sometimes accidentally left inside patients are usually sponges, scalpels or retractors. Although this type of medical mistake is rare, it does happen and can cause excruciating pain for the patients.
KDKA News reports that after Daryoush Mazarei underwent surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian Hospital to have a shunt installed in order to allow fluid to drain from his brain, his daughter noticed something sticking out from his side underneath his ribs. Mazarei had complained to his doctors about the pain he was experiencing after his surgery. He said that he felt as though something was poking him from the inside, but was told that he should consider psychiatric therapy.
A month and many complaints after his surgery, Mazarei was finally given a CT scan and that's when a huge medical mistake was discovered. He had actually been in pain, and it had been severe. A 10-inch metal device called a retractor was left inside his abdominal cavity during his surgery. It was definitely a physical problem, and not a psychiatric issue. After the device was seen on film, no one could doubt the fact that Mazarei had been experiencing extreme pain in the weeks following his surgery.
Mazarei has filed a personal injury lawsuit against UPMC, the doctor and Presbyterian Hospital. His personal injury lawyer, Jon Perry, told KDKA that there is no hospital policy to count objects this large during surgery because it is just incredible that an object this large could possibly lost into a surgical field and stitched up inside a patient without anyone noticing.
Adding insult to injury, the lawsuit alleges that Mazarei asked his doctors several times about the pain he was having and was told that he should see a psychiatrist.
Perry told KDKA that the case is currently in litigation, but that the hospital has apologized. Mazarei had to undergo an extensive surgical procedure to have the retractor removed from his abdomen, but the hospital still has no explanation as to how this medical mistake could have happened.
The news report indicates that there has been some mediation in the case, and will likely be more, so perhaps Mazarei and his family will not have to take this personal injury case to court. The hospital is not likely to want to let the jury examine the image from the CT scan showing the huge medical instrument that was left inside Mazarei for a month while he suffered in horrible pain and was written off as crazy by the doctors. A settlement in this personal injury case just might be imminent.