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Lost surgical needle results in a wrongful death case

Surgeons are held in high esteem by the medical community and by their patients. They are trusted to perform life-saving and life-threatening procedures and literally can hold a patient’s life in their hands. Surgeries are performed many times a day in Tennessee and the majority of them have successful outcomes. However, not all patients survive, and on occasion a patient’s death may be due to an error that occurred during a procedure. These errors can result in cases of wrongful death.

A patient from Lafayette recently passed away following surgery for a heart condition. A surgical needle had been left in the patient. A subsequent surgery to retrieve the needle was not successful as the needle could not be removed. It is unclear if it was not found or was found but was not removable. The patient remained in the hospital and died about a month after the initial surgery.

The gentleman’s widow is suing the hospital for wrongful death. An autopsy was performed on the man who passed away. The needle was located and removed at that time. While it is very rare for surgical items to be left in a patient’s body, it does happen in approximately one of every 5,500 to 7,000 surgeries. The consequences can be catastrophic.

Surgeries are never without risk in Tennessee. However, when a person dies as a result of an apparent surgical error the family of the deceased may look for answers. A consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney may be helpful. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the facts of the case and help determine if a civil suit for wrongful death is viable. A successfully litigated claim may result in compensation for medical costs, final costs and pain and suffering.