Florida Man Nearly Dies in Surgery Mistake

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 13 (UPI) — A Florida man says a sponge left in his stomach following surgery, and an error in medication, nearly killed him.

Nelson Bailey, a county judge, had abdominal surgery at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, and after the diverticulitis surgery his pain was worse than ever, The Palm Beach Post reported Monday.

Months of medical tests failed to find the problem before it was detected, the newspaper said.

“I was expecting something like a kitchen sponge,” Bailey said. “I was shocked.”

When doctors performed another surgery in March, they found a foot-long by foot-wide pus and bile-stained mass, and Bailey later found out the hospital allegedly gave him the wrong drug for high blood pressure – it nearly caused him to have a heart attack.

“It was the only time in my life that I knew I was actually dying,” Bailey, 67, said in the report.

He successfully sued the hospital, which declined comment on the matter; Bailey now wants to advocate for two changes to help others, the newspaper said.

He said all hospitals should have equipment to unfailingly find sponges or other equipment left behind, and he wants caps on the amount of damages a patient can claim in malpractice lawsuits lifted.

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