Judge Tosses Medical Malpractice Suit

By Ron Wood

FAYETTEVILLE – A lawsuit thrown out Wednesday claimed a large piece of gauze had been left inside a patient after surgery.

Harriet Shields of Harrison died in April 2006. Her husband, L.D. Shields, sued on behalf of the estate.

The suit contended a piece of gauze more than 2 feet long was left inside Harriet Shields after surgery in 2004 at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale by Dr. John H. Kendrick.

Harriet Shields had surgeries in January and February 2004 to repair problems with her abdomen but the wound wouldn’t heal, according to the lawsuit.

Washington County Circuit Judge Kim Smith granted motions by Kendrick and the hospital to dismiss the case.

The motion said there was uncontroverted evidence the material in question was not gauze left inside Shields during her last surgery but surgical reinforcement material used in a previous surgery that was designed to remain inside the patient.

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