Surgeon Allegedly Leaves Object in Uterus

Freakish things and people are plentiful--all over the world.

DANVILLE, Pa. - A woman is suing a doctor who operated on her, accusing him of leaving a 4-inch metal instrument inside her uterus.

In her lawsuit, Lori Klinger, 35, said she experienced severe pain after Dr. Samuel Owusu performed a diagnostic laparoscopy on her in November 2002 to check for endometriosis, a condition where some of the uterus lining is found outside the uterus.

She said when she called Owusu later complaining of pain, he said it was normal and told her to take pain medication.

"(Klinger) had called him and said this really hurts," said Klinger's lawyer, Jane Sebelin. "He just kept saying, 'Deal with it.'"

Two days later, she went to the bathroom and an instrument emerged from her vagina, the lawsuit said. Klinger said it was sharp on one end with a rubber bulb on the other. She said she took it to the doctor's office.

"We felt there was a lack of procedures in place, that they should be checking these things," said Sebelin. The lawsuit said Owusu did apologize.

Klinger is seeking $350,000 for counts including negligence.

Owusu referred questions to Bloomsburg-based Geisinger Medical Group when reached Wednesday. Alison Delsite Everett, spokeswoman for Geisinger, declined to comment on the case, but said: "we have very stringent policies to ensure the safety of our patients."

This mistake happens at least once a year at hospitals that perform 8,000 to 18,000 surgeries a year, despite the regular use of checklists to account for instruments used during operations, said Ramona Conner of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

Mix up at the Funeral Home!

Freakish things and people are plentiful--all over the world.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An autopsy technician misread a number on a body tag, leaving one family without a body to memorialize and another with the wrong person's ashes scattered across the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result of the mistaken identification, the technician released the body of John Chappell, 36, instead of that of Judith Perez, 65, said Duval County Chief Medical Examiner Margarita Arruza.

"It was off by one digit. He released the wrong body to the funeral home, and obviously the funeral home never checked or looked at the body," she said. She said the technician is no longer employed by her office.

Perez's family had the body cremated and scattered the ashes in the ocean before the mistake was discovered when Chappell's relatives showed up to claim his body.

Chappell's brother in Jacksonville and sister in Mt. Morris, Mich., have notified the city of their intent to sue for negligence, said their attorney, Henry Gare.

"It is a very heartbreaking situation," Gare said Wednesday.

Gare said the family had planned to scatter Chappell's ashes at his grandfather's grave in Michigan.

A woman who answered the telephone at Green Pine Funeral Home in Yulee and refused to give her name said Chappell's body was received in a bag identified as Perez's remains. Because the body was cremated, she said there was no reason to open the bag.

Arruza said she doesn't remember her office mixing up any bodies since she joined the office in 1989.