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Retained VAC Sponge After Surgery

Retained VAC Sponge After Surgery

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wound VAC sponge Here is a strange case of a sponge being left inside a patient, but not the usual kind of surgical sponge, a VAC sponge.

The plaintiff was admitted to Health Central Hospital in June 2009 with abdominal pain. She had an abdominal abscess and was placed under the care of surgeon Karl Hagen.

Six days later, Dr. Hagen surgically drained the abdominal abscess and placed a large black VAC sponge into the abdominal cavity in conjunction with a vacuum-assisted device.

The plaintiff was discharged six days after surgery.

The plaintiff continued to receive treatment from Dr. Hagen for infection at the surgical site and a failure of the surgical site to properly heal.

A couple of weeks later the plaintiff was re-admitted to the hospital for exploratory surgery. Dr. Hagen located and removed the VAC sponge which had been placed in the abdominal cavity during the abscess surgery.

The plaintiff alleged she had pain, scarring, wound necrosis, infection, and the need for additional hospitalizations due to the retention of the VAC sponge. This was a confidential settlement.

Adrian Killen v. Karl Hagen MD and Jorge Florin d/b/a Mid-Florida Surgical Associates, Orange County (FL) Circuit Court, Case No. 2011-CA-006071

Comment: Wound VAC sponges are meant to be attached to a suction device and placed on top of a wound. They are not to be left inside a patient. Sometimes tissue grows around them and they can be pulled into a wound; the healthcare professionals must retrieve the sponge. But leaving the sponge inside the patient is a very unusual move, and in this case, was a deviation from the standard of care.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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