Metal object left in abdomen after surgery, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Sep. 7, 2010, 5:52am

A Madison County general surgeon allegedly allowed a metallic object to remain in the abdomen of a female patient following a surgery, according to a recently filed suit.

Sandra J. Jordan claims she was hospitalized at defendant Saint Anthony's Health Center on Sept. 17, 2008, where she was placed under the care of defendant Dr. Maudie M. Miller for a gall bladder laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

During the surgery, which was converted to an open cholecystectomy, Miller allegedly left a metal object in Jordan's abdomen, according to the complaint filed Aug. 27 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Not until after the surgery did Miller and others realize the metal object was still embedded in Jordan, the suit states.

Jordan continues to experience infections, may face medical complications, suffers from pain and mental anguish and incurred medical costs because of the metal object, the complaint says.

If Miller had correctly performed her job, the metal object would not have remained in her abdomen, Jordan claims.

Instead, Miller allegedly negligently failed to adequately supervise the surgical assistants to make sure they performed an adequate count to discover any objects that may have been left, failed to count foreign objects used during the surgery and failed to follow proper written procedures, according to the complaint. In addition, Miller allegedly negligently placed a foreign object in Jordan's abdomen and failed to observe the object remained in her abdomen, the suit states.

"The Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor applies against this Defendant in that the foreign metallic object was not present in Plaintiff's abdomen before the above-mentioned surgical procedure and became evident in post-surgical imaging studies that, in the common knowledge of layman, the retention of this foreign metallic object was unusual, unexpected and an untoward medical result which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of negligence," the complaint says.

In her two-count complaint, Jordan is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

She will be represented by Thomas O. Falb of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-894.

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