A woman in New Zealand escaped death after a device “the size of a dinner plate” was left in her abdomen. The device was removed 18 months after she gave birth.
The device in question was the Alexis wound retractor, a soft tubal instrument used to hold open surgical wounds.
During the 18 months while the device was inside of her, the woman endured severe pains and visited the doctor for frequent trips while complaining about pain in her abdomen.
A CT scan was eventually done and the Alexis discovered. Although X-rays were also done, the device is “non radio-opaque” and couldn’t be detected.
An investigation led to findings released by Morag McDowell, New Zealand’s Health And Disability Commissioner.
“It is self-evident that the care provided fell below the appropriate standards, because the (retractor) was not identified during any routine surgical checks, resulting in it being left inside the woman’s abdomen.”
The commissioner noted that it’s the second time in only two years that a device had been left in an Auckland City Hospital patient.
The patient hadn’t been named to protect her privacy.
Image credit: CNN