NASHVILLE, Tn. (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 in 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.