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Army veteran says VA hospital left scalpel inside his abdomen for four years

An Army veteran has filed a lawsuit claiming that a Veterans Affairs hospital left a scalpel inside his abdomen during a surgery four years ago. The veteran underwent surgery to remove the scalpel in April. Last week, he filed suit against the VA. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)

An Army veteran has filed a lawsuit claiming that a VA hospital left a scalpel inside his abdomen for four years, the Hartford Courant reported.

What happened?

According to the Courant, Glenford Turner of Bridgeport, Connecticut, went to the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital complaining of dizziness and abdominal pain in March 2017. Tests revealed that a scalpel had been left inside his abdomen during a surgery four years earlier.

Turner, 61, underwent surgery to remove the scalpel in April. Last week, he filed suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Turner’s attorney, Joel Faxon, said in a statement Monday that tests “revealed the presence of an abandoned scalpel inside Mr. Turner's body.”

“Doctors confirmed that is was the scalpel knife used during Turner’s radical prostatectomy — performed four years earlier at the West Haven VA,” Faxon said.

According to the lawsuit, Turner said he underwent a robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy at the West Haven VA hospital on Aug. 30, 2013. He returned to the VA hospital on March 29, 2017, with abdominal pain and underwent an MRI.

“The imaging study was abruptly halted when Mr. Turner began to experience severe, worsened abdominal pain,” and X-rays then showed the scalpel, Faxon said.

Faxon said Turner’s ordeal shows “an incomprehensible level of incompetence.” They are seeking compensatory damages, for his pain, additional medical expenses, and lost time at work.

What did the VA say?

The VA has yet to comment on the lawsuit. A spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs did not immediately return TheBlaze’s request for comment. A spokesperson for the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital said they plan to issue a statement.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) told the Courant that the allegations are “egregious” and said he will seek answers from the VA.

(H/T: Boston Herald)

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