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Surgeons find 8-inch forceps left behind in girl

/ Source: The Associated Press

Surgeons retrieved a pair of eight-inch-long forceps left inside a 17-year old Pakistani girl when she had an appendectomy nearly three years ago, health officials said Tuesday.

Three senior surgeons and four paramedics will be fired from the state-run People's Medical College Hospital in Nawabshah for the blunder, said Naushad Shaikh, health secretary of southern Sindh province.

The patient, Akleeman Daheri, is in stable condition after undergoing the removal surgery Sunday — at the same hospital — but lost 12 inches of her small intestine during the operation, Shaikh said.

Daheri had suffered stomach pain since the initial operation on Aug. 15, 2003, said the hospital's medical superintendent, Mahfooz Qureshi.

The pain was originally diagnosed as postoperative discomfort and treated with painkillers. However, Daheri recently returned to the hospital where an X-ray revealed the forceps in her abdomen.

"The metal piece entangled in her small intestine was removed, and two pieces of perforated intestines had to be removed for smooth functioning of her digestive system," Qureshi said.

Daheri lives in a village near Nawabshah, 190 miles northeast of the city of Karachi. Shaikh said the victim's family had decided not to pursue criminal charges, but he warned other surgeons and paramedics to demonstrate more care.

"Human life is not a joke," he said. "They shouldn't be this casual."

Last month, a Pakistani woman died because a pair of forceps was left inside her during a Cesarean section birth 18 months ago at a hospital in the southern city of Hyderabad.