Doctors retrieve sponge from patient’s body


Two legal notices were lodged against medical officials at one of Lahore’s most prestigious private hospitals ‘Ammar medical Complex’ (AMC). The notices were issued to Dr Maryam Malik who is a visiting gynecologist at the hospital and to the Chief Executive of AMC.
The petitioner, Malik Amir Sohail appealed to the Consumer Court to intervene claiming that the hospital and Dr Maryam had been negligent in his wife’s abdominal hysterectomy procedure.
According to the petitioner, Dr Maryam recommended surgery to his wife due to her having excessive vaginal bleeding.
Although the procedure went as planned, the patient soon developed an infection and therefore needed further treatment. Although treated repeatedly by medication, the case worsened and the patient went to Ganga Ram Hospital where doctors discovered a mass in her abdomen.
After a second surgical procedure, Doctors at Ganga Ram retrieved a Sponge from the woman’s abdomen which had negligently been left inside the patient from an earlier procedure.
Whilst speaking to Pakistan Today, Dr Ammar Aslam who is the Medial Director at AMC maintained that the patient had come to Dr Maryam Malik by their own reference and that surgery was earlier denied upon discovering that the patient was in fact ‘Hepatitis C’ positive.
He added that the patient was requested to get a ‘fitness for surgery’ from a medical officer and only after obtaining that, the surgery went ahead. Dr Ammar also stated that the patient had been discharged with a clean bill of health and it was almost two months later that the notice was sent.
He also mentioned that the patient had visited several other doctors during the two months and not only Dr Maryam. He further said that Dr Maryam was a visiting physician at the Hospital and the onus hence falls entirely upon the good doctor rather than the medical facility merely providing a facility for several visiting physicians.
He added that if the patient had been treated by an on staff gynecologist, the case would have been different and there was no detail as to how many other consultants the patient had seen between being released from Ammar Medical Complex and sending the legal notice.
Speaking to officials at Ganga Ram Hospital, Pakistan Today learnt that the patient Shabana Omer , 40 had in fact visited the medical facility on November 21complainig of pain.
Additional Medical Superintendent (AMS-Admin) Dr Asim speaking on behalf of Ganga Ram hospital said that a mass was discovered in the patient’s abdomen and after the surgery, the patient was discharged from the Hospital on Dec 7
He added that the surgical procedure determined that the mass was in fact a sponge which was then removed from the patient’s abdomen.


  1. Khaadim-e-Aala Sahib. Perhaps you could put down your pill box of V1agra and look at what these private hospital butchers are doing.

  2. It's a joint responsibility. Dr Marayam Francis Malik a graduate of KEMC batch of 1980 as well as AMMAR HOSPITAL are both negligent in their duty of care towards the patient.

  3. This is now common practice of surgeons and medicine specialist to show careless attitude toward this. patients and their sickness.They behave like business men/women who are interested in quantity rather than maintaining their quality of services that is mandatory part of such passionate profession of man kind.
    Wrong diagnosis, forced operations, forgetting operation apparatus inside patient and poor pro or post operation care have become common practice in all private and govt Hospitals.Oh yes if you have some links with medical professionals then it might help it someway but truly now Pakistani docs are behaving like butcher of slaughter house.

  4. This is in response to comment by NAZIA
    Her opinion may be one way to look at this problem.
    The main issue is how to prevent the problem in future so other pts do not run into it.
    One way to prevent it is to add financial penality which inthis case LAW SuIt will do it. I will be interested for how much money it is settled.
    The second part is for operation room nurses and docdors have to make sure that sppnge and instruments count is icorrect before pt is moved out of the theatre.

  5. On the other hand it's now a common practise to visit consumer courts after getting a discharge slip, medical professionals must adhere to medical norms yet such ruthless online accountability must not be carried out before establishing facts, I have known Dr maryam for years and I'm well aware of her competence and unblemished professionalism

  6. This is for Mr Sabir. Your context is out of order. Whethe you know the doctor or not , does not make any difference. We are talking about a mistake which was made during surgical procedure. It was the joint responsibility of the surgeon and incharge nurse in the operation room that sponge and instrument count was correct before pt is moved out of the surgery room. For your information, this type of count is done three times.
    First when abdomen is about to be closed. Second time when the main layer ( fascia) is closed. Third time when skin is closed. This is the standard procedure.
    How much financial penality had to be paid in this case?
    By the way hospital is responsible because that incharge nurse in the operation room is employee of the hosp.

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