German pensioner dies after bungling surgeons left 16 different items inside his body after operation for prostate cancer
- Dirk Schroeder, 74, suffered 'appalling agony' after the operation for cancer
- Items included needle, roll of bandage, compress and bit of surgical mask
- The incident happened in 2009 and the man has since passed away
- His family are now seeking £80,000 in damages for gross negligence
- Hospital, in Hanover, say the items entered the body 'post-operative'
By Allan Hall and Matt Blake
PUBLISHED: 10:42 EST, 15 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:08 EST, 15 January 2013
The family of a patient who died in Germany after surgeons left 16 different items inside his body during an operation are seeking £80,000 compensation from hospital authorities.
Dirk Schroeder, 74, suffered 'appalling agony' after the routine surgery for prostate cancer and had been told he could expect to live another six years at least.
But within months he was back in hospital after a shocked nurse on a home visit in Hanover, Germany, saw a huge gauze pad sticking out from his wound.
Surgeons later removed 16 items of operating theatre equipment and supplies from inside Schroeder's body, including a needle, a six-inch roll of bandage, a six-inch long compress, several swabs and a fragment of surgical mask.
Left behind: Still trapped within him were operating theatre equipment and supplies which included a needle, a six-inch roll of bandage, a six-inch long compress, several swabs and a fragment of surgical mask
The incident happened in 2009 and Mr Schroeder survived, but his cancer had spread and he passed away last year.
His family have now launched a lawsuit against the clinic seeking £80,000 in damages. It took two further operations to remove all the debris from his body.
'Such an extent of foreign objects left inside a patient is unique in medical literature,' said family lawyer and medical expert Annette Corinth.
The hospital, which has not been named, claimed the items entered the body 'post-operative,' but did not suggest how the man may have ingested them - including the needle.
Ms. Corinth said: 'I hope the hospital will settle but otherwise the family are prepared to go all the way and sue in court. The family of the deceased spent lots of money on care, medicines and reconstruction of their home to look after this man.
'There has been gross negligence here which most probably had led to complications and possibly a quicker death.'
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