A 30-cm spatula was left inside a patient after surgery:

A doctor at the Jikei University School of Medicine’s Aoto Hospital in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo, left a 30-centimeter-long metal spatula in a patient’s stomach after an operation in January, it was learned Wednesday.

According to the hospital, the 68-year-old patient underwent an operation on Jan. 31 to have an ovarian tumor removed. While the doctor sutured her stomach, a metal spatula was used to press on her intestines so the needle would not pierce them. The spatula sank into the recess of her stomach, but the doctor did not notice and finished the suturing.

A surgical assistant noticed after the operation that the spatula was missing, and pointed it out to the nurse in charge of surgical instruments, but the nurse said, “Perhaps there wasn’t a spatula in the first place.”

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories