Being a doctor or a surgeon involves a lot of responsibility, which is why so few people actually make it through med school. As they are on their medical education path, these students learn about the immense amount of liability that doctors and surgeons have to face, and some get scared off. Other press forward and aren’t afraid of having to deal with patient issues and the chance of making mistakes.
Believe it or not, one of the most important tasks associated with being a doctor or surgeon is making sure that all equipment is sterilized properly and removed from the operating table following the procedure. Accounting for the many tools used during an operation is a job all by itself.
The Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno California is learning just how important it is to have proper cleanup procedures following operation.
When a patient had a surgery at the medical center in 2014, he thought he was in the clear and on the path to health when he checked out of the hospital. But, soon he found that he was extremely low on energy and stamina and he quickly lost 43 pounds. Most importantly, the patient felt so ill that he thought he was dying.
When he went back to the medical center sharing his complaints, he also added that his bowels hadn’t been working properly. The doctors assumed that it was a mass inside his stomach, so they opened him up to investigate the situation, but they soon learned that they were very very wrong…
“I was so scared when I found out about the abdominal mass because I knew something was wrong and I thought I must be full of cancer,” said the patient.
It turns out that it wasn’t cancer after all and instead, a blue surgical towel was causing all the pain and blockage. The surgical team had left the towel behind in his stomach when he had his initial procedure.
Due to the incident, several policies have been implemented at the hospital and surgical team members are required to count all towels used in surgery.
Also, as a result of the failed protocol, the Community Regional Medical Center is being fined $86,000 by the state of California for the major mistake.
According to legal analyst, Tony Capozzi, the hospital may end up facing more charges considering the case involved gross negligence.
One of the most disturbing parts of the situation is the fact that no one knows if the surgical team members who were on duty for the initial procedure have been fired.
The response that the hospital had to offer was the following…
“As a result of this regrettable incident, we completed corrective steps that were approved by the state.”
Hearing stories like this sure makes you think twice about who you trust when it comes to your health. Doctors and surgeons go through loads of education to ensure that they are qualified for the job, yet they end up making such simple mistakes that could end up in major illness or even death. Had this patient gone on much longer without going to the hospital, who knows how much worse the situation could’ve been?