Experts estimate the average hospital has between one and three incidents per year where a patient discovers something was left in their body during surgery. The patient can experience lingering pain and not realize the source of the problem until months or years later.
Two Valley residents have filed lawsuits against Fresno's St. Agnes Hospital, claiming medical items or "foreign bodies" were left in them. The hospital told KSEE 24 because the litigation is pending, officials are not allowed to discuss the cases.
A Merced man has also filed a lawsuit. He's suing Merced Mercy Hospital, after he says a foreign body was left in him.
A California-based company, Surgicount claims it can substantially reduce, even eliminate such medical mistakes. Each item used in a surgery has a bar code, and is scanned before and after the surgery. It replaces the manual count many nurses perform after surgeries.