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Hospital accused of leaving needle in woman's spine

A Florida naval hospital is facing accusations that it left part of a needle in a woman's spine when she had a caesarean section there in 2003. The woman now lives in Texas, but at the time, her husband was stationed with the Navy in Jacksonville. She had her third son at Naval Hospital Jacksonville and has suffered from pain ever since.

The woman's attorney says he will file a lawsuit against the government if there is no response to the allegations within six months. The woman described the pain as being like a fire or a poker at the base of her back and that it sometimes goes down her leg and into her foot.

The woman's attorney has CAT scans that display the three centimeters of needle remaining in her spine from the injection of spinal anesthesia. According to the woman, it is too risky to take the needle out. Her attorney says the hospital was obligated to document the error and inform the woman. The woman says that this failure to tell her about the incident is what upsets her the most about it.

The legal system recognizes that certain errors or delays in diagnosis or treatment will sometimes occur. Therefore, one element of a medical malpractice suit would include looking at whether the person received a reasonable standard of care. A case in which an item is left behind in a person after surgery or a medical procedure might not be considered reasonable. This kind of medical error can be devastating to a person's quality of life. If a medical facility or professional has committed malpractice, a patient might be compensated for medical expenses and other losses.

Source: WJCT, "Navy Wife Says Jacksonville Hospital Left Needle In Her Back, Causing Chronic Pain", Lindsey Kilbride, March 22, 2018

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