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Home E-Weekly January 9, 2018

8-inch Forceps Left Inside Woman

Published: January 8, 2018

RETAINED OBJECT Part of the patient's small intestine looped through the handle of the forceps.

A stray surgical sponge might be difficult to spot, but how do you miss an 8-inch forceps? That thought must have crossed the mind of Mary Harber when she sued the surgeon who allegedly left the tool in her abdomen during surgery to remove a benign tumor.

Last spring, Ms. Harber, 52, had the tumor removed from her abdomen at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, Calif., which is also named in the lawsuit. Richard Mooney, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist, performed the surgery and allegedly left the forceps behind.

After leaving the hospital on April 19, 2017, Ms. Harber experienced pain in her back, kidney and abdomen. On May 1, she went to the emergency room at Banner Lassen Medical Center, where an X-ray revealed the forceps. Ms. Harber reportedly underwent follow-up surgery to remove the forceps and 18-inches of her small intestine, which had looped around the tool's handle.

Ms. Harber, who claims she will require additional follow-up care, is seeking an undisclosed amount for medical and incidental expenses and loss of past and future earnings. She's also seeking damages for the loss of comfort and support to her husband.

Shasta Regional did not respond to a request for comment. A representative at Dr. Mooney's office declined to comment.

Daniel Cook

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