Docs leave mop in woman’s abdomen
Vapi resident Salma Ansari (35) was left in excruciating pain for more than two months after doctors at Zohra Hospital, Gorakhpur forgot a tiny surgical mop in her abdomen while removing a gall bladder stone on January 5. Ansari was visiting her in-laws in Gorakhpur.mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2010 01:22 IST
Vapi resident Salma Ansari (35) was left in excruciating pain for more than two months after doctors at Zohra Hospital, Gorakhpur forgot a tiny surgical mop in her abdomen while removing a gall bladder stone on January 5. Ansari was visiting her in-laws in Gorakhpur.
The homemaker was relieved from the pain after doctors at the Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, conducted a surgery to remove the mop on Saturday. After two more surgeries — the last one was on Tuesday — to correct the damage, she is finally recovering.
“The initial surgery cost us Rs 50,000. The cost of having the mop removed and subsequent treatment has come to over 2 lakh,” said Ansari’s husband Khalil (42). “I had to sell off jewellery and my tempo and also use all my savings. We had planned to marry off two of our four children with that money.”
But Ansari’s case is not isolated. Cases of mops or instruments being left in patients’ bodies during surgery are not uncommon.
In November 2007, gynaecologist Dr Ramesh Relan accidentally left a mop in the abdomen of Theresa Martin while conducting at hysterectomy at his Malad nursing home. Martin’s relatives and political workers blackened the doctor’s son’s face in retaliation.
City doctors estimated there are chances of error in one out of every 50,000 surgeries. According to the New England Journal of Medicine’s 2003 issue, there is a risk of error in one out of every 1,000 to 1,500 intra-abdominal surgeries.
“Doctors are humans and they are also liable to commit mistakes,” said Dr Lalit Kapoor, head of the Association of Medical Consultants.
“No doctor deliberately leaves a mop or any other instrument inside the patient to torture them. The nurse has to count the number of mops used before the surgeon closes the incision and the doctor has to take her word for it,” he said.