It’s not a tumor, it’s a towel!

Doctors performing surgery on an unnamed man in Japan found out that what they thought was a tumor was a surgical towel that had been left inside him 25 years ago!
The patient had been carrying the cloth since 1983, when surgeons at the Asahi General Hospital in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo left it in him after an operation to treat an ulcer, a spokesman for the hospital said.

The man, now 49, went in to another hospital in late May after suffering abdominal pain.

When examinations found what was believed to be an eight-centimetre (3.2-inch) tumour, he underwent the operation to remove it. It was only then that surgeons realised it was a towel.

Representatives from the first hospital have apologized and are working on a compensation agreement. Link -via Arbroath

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wow, big spender! that's ridiculous! sorry to hear that.. hope everything settles out ok.

i took a health communications course sometime last year and one of the things we talked about was medical malpractice and how to prevent it. yes, i know leaving a towel in someone during surgery cannot be prevented by the patient, in which case it IS the doctor's fault. i forget what the number is, but there is a percentage of malpractice you CAN prevent, just by properly communicating with your doctor. this applies especially to MEN because they are less likely to seek medical attention than women (which is caused by several factors that i will not waste your time with). knowing what to tell your doctor starts with knowing what your symptoms are. this forces you to be in constant tune to the rest of your body (and mind), and when you are able to more correctly identify how you feel, you will be able to more precisely explain your symptoms, and your doctor can diagnose you correctly. most malpractice suits are caused by the patient neglecting their symptoms, not taking already prescribed medications, not taking the proper dose (either too much or too little), and not being pro-active about follow-up appointments.
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just last year, here in the US, docs left a THREE INCH screw in my dad's back after surgery. there are supposed to be checklists, etc, and the person was found to have fudged the paperwork. now it's more dangerous to take it out than leave it in (they say) and no doc will touch him because of the on going lawsuit.
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