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Malpractice: Sponge Left in Pelvic Cavity.—
The physician-defendant operated to remove a tumor from the plaintiff's pelvic cavity. He walled off the bowels by "retractor pads," on which were sewed pieces of tape about 14 inches long, the ends of which hung outside the patient's body, attached to surgical instruments. To arrest capillary hemorrhage in the operative area he "wadded up" other gauze pads and placed them against the bleeding tissue, but he "wadded up" with the gauze the tape attached to the pads or sponges so used, so that the ends did not protrude outside the body. The patient had been on the operating table about one hour and thirty-five minutes when the anesthetist reported that the patient was showing signs of shock and advised that the operation be completed as soon as possible. The peritoneum had already been completely sutured, when a nurse reported that one sponge was
Medicolegal. JAMA. 1935;105(1):72. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760270074039