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Surgeon Leaves Needle in Patient; He Later Dies: Suit

Family is now suing the hospital
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2018 11:07 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Wanmongkhol)

(Newser) – The family of a Tennessee man who died shortly after a surgeon left a needle inside his chest cavity has sued the hospital, the AP reports. The Tennessean reports 73-year-old John Burns Johnson had open heart surgery at TriStar Centennial Hospital on May 2017. After about nine hours of surgery, a surgeon closed his chest only to discover one of his needles was missing. An X-ray revealed it was inside Johnson. The surgeon then tried to retrieve the needle but was unsuccessful. Johnson died about a month after the surgery. The lawsuit says Johnson's health deteriorated and described his death as "painful, unnecessary and wrongful." The hospital released a statement saying it would not respond to the lawsuit's claims, but noted it is serious about caring for patients and empathizes with the family. (Read more lawsuit stories.)

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