Stories about surgical tools and medical supplies left in patients are one of my guilty pleasures. I am endlessly fascinated by the stories you hear on the news or read on the internet about people discovering left-behind sponges or clamps terrify me. But I can’t get enough! The couple of times I’ve had surgery, I felt compelled to remind the nurses and surgical team to PLEASE COUNT YOUR INSTRUMENTS before closing me up. I get that mistakes happen, it’s just a fact of life, right? When you rely on humans for your health care, you have to be prepared for human error. But there’s a big difference between a mistake, and willfully hiding something from a patient. A woman in Jacksonville, Florida says that 14 years ago, an epidural needle broke off in her back. And no one told her!
Amy Bright delivered her son at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in 2003. She got an epidural during her labor and delivery, but it didn’t go well. She began feeling pain in her lower back and legs immediately, and the pain hasn’t gone away in the 14 years since the procedure. Turns out, there was a really horrifying reason!