More than a dozen times a day, doctors sew up patients with sponges and other supplies mistakenly left inside. The mistake costs some victims their lives.
Some of these victims lose parts of their intestines; some don’t survive Hospitalizations involving a lost sponge or instrument average more than $60,000 New sponge-tracking systems typically add just $8 to $12 to an operation’s cost Erica Parks knew something wasn’t right in her belly when she left the Alabama hospital that performed her cesarean section in the spring of 2010.
Over the next month, her stomach grew so swollen that she looked pregnant again. By the sixth week, her bowels had shut down entirely. Parks, an Air Force major, staggered in to see her doctor, who sent her immediately to the emergency room.
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