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Surgeon Left 16 Items in Body, Family Sues Hospital for $120,000

Update Date: Jan 16, 2013 07:47 PM EST
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A surgeon left 16 items in the body of a patient after performing surgery on him for prostate cancer in 2009 and he later died from cancer and now his family is suing the hospital for $120,000. 

Dirk Schroeder, 74, suffered 'appalling agony' after the routine surgery for prostate cancer and had been told he could expect to live another six years at least, according to the Daily Mail.

A few months after Schroeder underwent the surgery in 2009, he was back in hospital after he said he was feeling pain. Nurses found a huge gauze pad sticking out from his wound. Surgeons later removed 16 items of operating theatre equipment and supplies from inside Schroeder's body, including a needle, a six-inch roll of bandage, a six-inch long compress, several swabs and a fragment of surgical mask.

Unfortunately, the man passed away last year as the cancer had spread. Now his family have now launched a lawsuit against the clinic seeking $120,000 in damages. It took two further operations to remove all the debris from his body.

The hospital, which has not been named, insists that the paraphernalia entered his body after the surgery. The family's lawyer and medical expert Annette Corinth said such a blunder was "unique in medical literature".

"I hope the hospital will settle but otherwise the family are prepared to go all the way and sue in court," Ms Corinth said.

"The family of the deceased spent lots of money on care, medicines and reconstruction of their home to look after this man."

"There has been gross negligence here which most probably had led to complications and possibly a quicker death."

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