GRETNA – An Alabama woman is suing a local hospital claiming an item was left in her following emergency surgery.

Melissa Calihan filed suit against Ochsner Clinic Foundation in the 24th Judicial District Court on July 3.

Calihan claims she was transported to Ochsner Medical Center on May 24, 2008 for treatment of multiple injuries she received in a car accident. The plaintiff alleges she underwent several surgical procedures before she was finally discharged in mid-July 2008.

Calihan asserts that at discharge a hospital employee did not notice a medical sponge lodged in one of her wounds and skin had begun to grow over it. Two months after discharge the plaintiff claims the sponge was found and major surgery ensued to remove it from her body. The plaintiff asserts the sponge caused extra pain and resulted in an infection.

The defendant is accused of failing to have adequate procedures to insure proper treatment is given, failing to perform reasonably necessary post-surgical care, failing to implement policy to provide for consistent care and treatment, failing to adequately staff hospital, failing to properly train staff, failing to properly monitor staff, negligent hiring and retaining of employees and general failing to adhere to standard of care of health professionals.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical and mental pain and suffering, severe and irreversible physical damages, loss of enjoyment of life and medical expenses.

Calihan is represented by Salvador I. Bivalacqua of New Orleans-based Galante & Bivalacqua, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division O Judge Ross P. LaDart.

Case no. 716-676.

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