An Army veteran is suing after a five-inch scalpel was left in his abdomen for four years following surgery causing severe pain.
Glenford Turner, 61, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, only discovered the source of his discomfort when he went for an MRI at a clinic at the Veteran Affairs’ Connecticut Healthcare System on the West Haven Campus, following a dizzy spell.
As soon the veteran went through the MRI scanner – which acts as a giant magnet – he suffered such agonizing pain, the tests had to be stopped immediately.
Glenford Turner, 61, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is suing after a five-inch scalpel was left in his abdomen for four years following surgery causing severe pain (pictured is his X-ray, showing a large, sharp knife stuck inside the patient)
Glenford Turner, 61, (pictured) was left in pain for years after the scalpel was abandoned in his abdomen
Doctors then carried out an X-ray which revealed the ‘abandoned scalpel’ inside his abdomen, near his stomach and intestines.
A copy of the X-ray reveals the large, sharp knife stuck inside the patient.
Faxon Law Group, who filed the lawsuit against at VA Connecticut Healthcare System on behalf of the patient, said the scalpel had been left behind by a trainee surgeon four years earlier.
The lawsuit states that Turner underwent a prostatectomy, to remove his prostate, at West Haven VA hospital on August 30, 2013.
The surgery was performed by Dr Jaimin Shah, then a fifth year urology trainee, supervised by Dr Preston Sprenkle, chief of urology.
Previous radiological studies had shown there were no foreign bodies in Turner, a married father and Army veteran, before that point, the suit states.
Turner went for surgery to remove his prostate in 2013 at West Haven VA hospital (pictured) after he was diagnosed with cancer
Faxon Law Group, who filed the lawsuit, said the scalpel had been left behind by a trainee surgeon four years earlier.
A doctor, called in for a second opinion, revealed that Turner was forced to undergo another surgery, with its associated serious anesthesia risk, in April 2017, to remove the scalpel
Turner was forced to undergo another surgery, with its associated serious anesthesia risk, in April 2017, to remove the scalpel.
Sprenkle later made a note that the patient ‘does notice the pelvic pain that has been present since his prostatectomy is now gone.’
‘It is shocking that in return for that service the VA thanked him by deploying a rookie surgical trainee to perform the surgery who showed an incomprehensible level of incompetence by losing the scalpel in Mr. Turner’s abdomen and not bothering to find it,’ New Haven attorney Joel T. Faxon said in a statement on Monday.
‘He just sewed him up and moved on to his next victim,’ he said, adding that is is ‘unconscionable that any hospital-particularly one serving our United States’ veterans-would be so haphazard in the care they provide.’
‘The VA’s low standard of care has been the subject of much discussion lately, but this is a new low,’ Faxon said. ‘Better care can be had at a veterinary hospital. They should be ashamed of themselves.’
The medical malpractice lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.