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Woman's life at risk after medical device left in body

Advances in medical technology enable doctors to treat patients with more accuracy and fewer unpleasant intrusions. Because many medical devices are designed to be minimally invasive, they’re usually miniscule. For this reason, doctors in New Mexico may be more likely to leave some of these tiny objects in patients’ bodies. Unfortunately, these types of doctor errors can be deadly.

Hospital staff members placed one woman’s life at risk when they installed a port inside her body that would make it easier for her to receive chemotherapy treatments. At the time, the woman was being treated for cancer. Unfortunately, when they removed the port, a tiny piece of the device was left behind. If the woman hadn’t had trouble breathing, she might not have noticed the problem.

The woman recently found out that she will soon become a grandmother. However, the forgotten device could cost her life. The woman has decided against removing the object, and she has sued the doctor and hospital for medical malpractice. Surgery is necessary to remove the device, but according to some doctors, it would put her life at risk. On the other hand, leaving the object in its place may also be dangerous.

In the meantime, the woman will likely be able to meet her new grandchild, but it is unknown how long she will live. The woman may have difficulty breathing, but it is not clear if she is experiencing any pain. Mistakes such as these are devastating for victims and their family members. Fortunately, they may be entitled to compensation. Working with an attorney can be helpful in these circumstances. 

Source: NBC 10, “I-Team: Woman sues hospital over device left in body,” Parker Gavigan, June 7, 2013

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