Support the news

Judge's Surgery Screwup Turns Him Into An Activist

This article is more than 9 years old.
A sponge left behind after surgery triggered a judge's transformation into a patient safety advocate
A sponge left behind after surgery triggered a judge's transformation into a patient safety advocate

So here's a Florida judge, Nelson Bailey, who had a sponge left inside him after surgery, and is now a newfound convert for patient safety.

The Palm Beach Post reports:

After abdominal surgery at Good Samaritan Medical Center for diverticulitis, the pain in the judge’s belly only got worse. Repeatedly, he says, he returned to his primary doctor and complained. Repeatedly, he was sent for CT scans. And repeatedly, the metal marker on the sponge appearing in the scans was misidentified.

For five months, the surgical sponge festered near Bailey’s intestines. The pus- and bile-stained mass measured more than a foot long and a foot wide when finally removed and unwound in March.

Now that Judge Bailey has recovered (or at least partially recovered — part of his intestine rotted and had to be removed, so he can no longer engage in his favorite activity, horseback trail riding) he has a few demands. He wants equipment available in the OR that beeps when a sponge or other medical equipment is left inside a patient. And he wants to eliminate all caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

This program aired on September 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Rachel Zimmerman Twitter Health Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for Bostonomix.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news