Lawsuit: Surgeon left needle inside patient, who later died

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The family of a Tennessee man who died shortly after a surgeon left a needle inside his chest cavity has sued the hospital.

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.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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