Veteran says he found VA hospital scalpel in his abdomen after excruciating MRI

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – An Army veteran is suing a Connecticut Veterans Affairs hospital after he said doctors found a scalpel that had been left in his body four years earlier.

According to attorneys at the Faxon Law Group, Glenford Turner, 61, and a United States Army veteran from Bridgeport, was at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven Campus, for a scheduled MRI after experiencing a recent episode of dizziness and long-term abdominal pains.

The MRI was stopped when Turner started having severe abdominal pain. Attorneys said X-rays showed an abandoned scalpel inside Turner's body. Turner's lawyers said doctors confirmed it was the scalpel knife used during Turner’s radical prostatectomy, which had been performed four years earlier at the West Haven VA in August, 2013.

The lawsuit said Turner was operated on in April 2017 to remove the dangerous instrument parked near his stomach and intestines.

In a press release, Attorney Joel T. Faxon, of New Haven, said:

“Mr. Turner served our country proudly for decades. It is shocking that, in return for that service, the VA thanked him by deploying a rookie surgical trainee to perform the surgery who showed an incomprehensible level of incompetence by losing the scalpel in Mr. Turner's abdomen and not bothering to find it. He just sewed him up and moved on to his next victim."

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said, in a statement:

“I’m appalled and stunned by allegations of this egregious medical malpractice case involving the West Haven VA. While the court determines liability, I have asked for a detailed explanation from VA of this deeply troubling report. I am demanding also full accountability so this kind of horrific negligence never happens again. America owes our veterans the world’s best medical care, nothing less.”