Woman claims sponge left in abdomen, files malpractice suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 26, 2011, 4:18am

GALVESTON - A Galveston County woman alleges that an obstetrician-gynecologist at Texas City's Mainland Medical Center left a foreign object inside her abdomen six years ago after a Caesarean section, recent court documents say.

In a lawsuit filed Jan. 18 in Galveston County District Court, Phaedra R. Mills blames Dr. Janice R. Crowder for failing to remove all surgical sponges prior to closing her abdomen.

Mills claims Crowder on Nov. 3, 2004, performed the procedure without any assistance, which reportedly and ultimately caused the complainant to suffer a possible hernia.

In January 2010, Mills sought medical attention for alleged problems with her abdomen and pelvis. She learned that the left lower quadrant of her abdomen contained a lap sponge marker which had to be surgically removed, the original petition says.

The suit faults Crowder for neglecting to disclose that "the treatment involved risks and hazards that would have influenced a reasonable person in making a decision to give or withhold consent" while it accuses both the physician and the hospital of unilaterally severing the doctor-patient relationship "without reasonable notice to the plaintiff and without providing adequate alternate medical care for the plaintiff while the plaintiff was in need of continued care and medication."

Consequently, Mills seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by attorney Elijah Gooden III of Houston.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor.

Case No. 11-cv-0077

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