Another mop bites the dust

  • Posted on: August 18, 2022

Instances of mop / foreign objects accidently left inside patient’s body after surgery are being reported at an alarming rate. This case is one such unfortunate incident.

The patient underwent appendicitis surgery and developed post-operative complications. He visited the hospital couple of times, X-ray was performed and other tests were conducted but nothing unusual was reported.

Fed up of the constant pain for six long months, the patient consulted a doctor at another hospital. A mop inside the intestine was reported at this hospital and surgery was performed to remove it.

The patient sued the hospital and claimed compensation.

The hospital stated in defence that x-ray and sonography were performed, however, no mop was found. It was further stated that sonography performed at the second hospital which reported mop inside patient’s intestine was not produced to prove the claim. Even a biopsy was not performed to ascertain if the mop was left during first surgery or the second surgery, concluded the hospital.

This case was given to a panel of experts for their opinion. After going through the report of this panel, and medical records, the Commission observed that mop was left inside patient’s intestine at the first hospital:

“The hospital has alleged that biopsy was not done to prove if it was the same mop which was removed from patient’s intestine used during first operation. But the report of expert panel has been prepared on the basis of two photograph album and case paper record. Therefore it clearly establishes that the mop was left inside the abdomen and thus question of biopsy does not arise”.

“I have gone through both the sonography reports but ultrasound images are not produced by the hospital and hence in opinion of this Commission, the hospital has failed to prove that a mop was not left inside patient’s abdomen”.

The hospital was held negligent for this obvious mistake.

Source: Order pronounced by Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 31st December, 2021.