Patient sues after surgical pad left inside abdomen

Michelle Massey Jul. 12, 2010, 11:53am

A patient who underwent a laparotomy is suing her doctors, claiming they left a surgical pad inside her body after the surgery.

Gloria and Louis Perrier filed suit against Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Health Care Services Division doing business as Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans-University Hospital (West Campus), Dr. Clifton L. McGinness and Dr. Luciana Fiszer June 30 in Orleans Parish District Court.

Gloria Perrier underwent exploratory laparoscopy and laparotomy for gallstones in March 2008. A week after being released from the hospital, she returned complaining of redness and leakage from the incision site on her abdomen. Perrier says she was examined and discharged without any diagnostic tests or x-rays being done. She claims to have returned to the hospital four more times before any tests were performed and a missing surgical pad discovered in her abdomen.

Court records say Perrier underwent a second laparotomy in April 2008 to allow doctors to remove the surgical pad.

The Louisiana Medical Review Panel issued a decision on the case May 25, 2010. "The panel found that it is a breach of standard of care for the operating room personnel of the hospital to not provide an accurate lap sponge count," a court record reads.

The hospital is accused of negligently failing to ensure that the operating room personnel performed a laparotomy pad count to ensure all medical devises were accounted for before the closure of Perrier's incision and for negligently failing to ensure that its physicians ordered diagnostic tests to determine the cause of Perrier's complications and continued complaints of pain.

Dr. McGinness and Dr. Fiszer are accused of negligently failing to ensure that all medical devices and instruments were accounted for before the closure of the abdominal incision. Dr. Fiszer is also accused of negligently failing to order any diagnostic tests or films on Perrier's abdomen.

Gloria Perrier is seeking damages for unwarranted pain and suffering, medical expenses and interest. Louis Perrier is seeking damages for loss of consortium.

The petitioners are represented by New Orleans attorneys Fred Herman, George Jackson, Jr. and Thomas Barbera of the Law Offices of Fred Herman and J. Van Robichaux of the Robichaux Law Firm.

Judge Rosemary Ledet is assigned to the case.

Case No. 10-6710

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Louisiana State University
110 Thomas Boyd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

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