A gynaecologist and two trainee doctors in northern Greece were handed suspended prison sentences after forgetting a
22-centimetre (nine inch) medical spatula in a patient's abdomen, a local justice source said.
The three accused and a scrub nurse received suspended prison
sentences of between 10 months and a year.
The oversight took place during minor surgery on a 45-year-old woman
at a hospital in the northern city of Serres in January 2005. The patient soon developed breathing problems, a skin rash, fever and a gathering of fluid in her abdomen.
Her doctors initially attributed the problems to an allergic
reaction and gave her medication, but a CAT scan subsequently found the
missing surgical instrument.
The patient had been awarded 50 000 euros in
damages in a prior civil trial. – (Sapa, October 2008)
Sponge count off after surgery