VA hospital left scalpel in body of vet after surgery, lawsuit claims

An Army veteran from Connecticut claims in a lawsuit that a scalpel was left inside his body after a surgery four years ago at a VA hospital, reports on Monday said.

Doctors discovered the instrument in Glenford Turner's abdomen during a recent MRI, Glenford Turner's lawyer said.

The 61-year-old veteran has been complaining of long-term abdominal pain, his lawyer said.

“The imaging study was abruptly halted when Mr. Turner began to experience severe, worsened abdominal pain,” John Faxon, the lawyer, said.

Faxon said doctors confirmed it was the same scalpel used in a surgery Turner underwent at the hospital in 2013. He called it “an incomprehensible level of incompetence.”

The surgeon “just sewed him up and moved on to his next victim,” Faxon said.

Turner had an operation to remove the instrument in April 2017, the Hartford Courant reported. He filed a lawsuit last week against the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking unspecified damages.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., released a statement saying he was stunned by the “egregious malpractice case,” demanding full accountability so this type of “horrific negligence never happens again.”

Late last week, a South Carolina Navy veteran sued the VA after he said a mix-up with a urine test led to his misdiagnosis as a cocaine addict.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.