Lawsuit: Surgeon left needle inside patient, who died weeks later

FILE - A surgery team is pictured March 26, 2017. (PxHere via MGN)

The family of a Tennessee man who died shortly after a surgeon left a needle inside his chest cavity has sued the hospital.

The Tennessean reports 73-year-old John Burns Johnson had open heart surgery at TriStar Centennial Hospital on May 2017. After about nine hours of surgery, a surgeon closed his chest only to discover one of his needles was missing. An X-ray revealed it was inside Johnson. The surgeon then tried to retrieve the needle but was unsuccessful.

Johnson died about a month after the surgery. The lawsuit says Johnson's health deteriorated and described his death as "painful, unnecessary and wrongful."

The hospital released a statement saying it would not respond to the lawsuit's claims, but noted it is serious about caring for patients and empathizes with the family.

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