We make no claim about the accuracy of the coming story. We share it because it’s different and because of the broad range of surgical errors that have been known to happen in the operating room. Whether it’s true or not, we suspect all in Oregon can agree that surgical mistakes involving something being left behind in a patient are something that should never happen.
According to the original story as published by Gulf News and relayed around the globe, the family of a 36-year-old Jordanian woman claims a gynecologist sewed his cellphone into her abdomen after performing a cesarean section to deliver her baby in April.
On her return home she reportedly was in pain and decided something was really wrong when her tummy started vibrating. Eventually, the story says, she went to an emergency room and surgeons removed the phone. The case purportedly gained enough momentum to spark calls in Jordan’s parliament for a resignation of the government.
The story has made headlines around the world and there’s been no retraction that we know of from Gulf News. But questions are being raised about its veracity. It’s easy to understand why. Horror stories of surgeons leaving something in patients are not unheard of. But they typically involve surgical implements or operating room items like sponges. It’s a bit harder to imagine it happening with a cellphone.
In a more serious vein, however, it is good to remember that every surgical procedure, even something as seemingly mundane as an appendectomy, carries risks. Doctors who perform these operations with recklessness and negligence should expect to be held accountable.