Patient loses “part of his small intestine” due to surgical compress left behind after operation

A surgical compress, left inside a patient for 81 days after he had his gallbladder removed, led to such a serious infection that the man was admitted to hospital, seriously unwell, and had to have part of his small intestine removed.

The horrific story dates back 10 years, and only now has a Porto appeal court ruled that there was medical negligence, writes Correio da Manhã.

The doctor in charge “did not detect the error and for two months, between October 21, 2005 and January 10, 2006, ignored grave signs of infection in the patient”, the court heard. He only removed the compress “after the patient entered hospital in a serious condition” – and the man has suffered permanent consequences as a result.

Fining the doctor €5,400 for the crime of offences to physical integrity through negligence, the court also fined Porto’s Santo Tirso hospital €86,000, but has failed to set damages to be awarded to the patient as it wants first to “study his level of incapacity”, writes CM.

A nurse who had been in attendance during the operation was absolved from responsibility as the court deemed there was not enough proof to show she was to blame for the oversight.

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