Woman says South Florida hospital left gauze inside her body

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A woman says she required surgery after a South Florida hospital made a potentially dangerous mistake.

Jamila Smith gave birth to her child, Aiden, in mid-July.

The new mother described the moment as “surreal,” but moments after delivering Aiden, the mother was rushed into the operating room at Jackson South.

She was bleeding and needed surgery to get it under control.

“[Doctors] numbed me from the waist down, and then they put me out,” she said. Smith and her baby were sent home two days later.

Shortly after, Smith said she new something was wrong,

“There was pain and pressure to the point where I wouldn’t be able to, sometimes, like, hard to move to get the baby, moving around, stuff, you know. I was just concerned,” she said.

She also said there was an odor. “Honestly, like a dead animal. It was like bad,” she said.

Smith and her husband Alaunta rushed to the hospital two weeks alter and were shocked by what doctors found inside the new mother.

“It looked like, almost like a long piece of snake. Or if you take two paper towels and put them together, that was how long. And it was thick, just straight up black,” said Alaunta.

“I was just like, ‘That was left in me? For two weeks!'” said his wife.

The couple said they were told that a doctor forgot to remove a foot long piece of gauze after Jamila’s surgery.

“In our hearts, to be honest we were just frustrated and upset. The fact that that was left in me,” she said. “Something could have happened to me, and I have a newborn.”

Jamila said she was told by doctors that the gauze could have caused an infection or even cancer.

She said the doctor even called her to apologize for the mistake that could have turned deadly.

Jackson Health System said in a statement, “Our healthcare teams are always deeply affected when their patients suffer complications after procedures … like all top medical systems, we investigate every complication and use those results to constantly improve.”

According to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration something is left inside a surgical patient more than a hundred times a year across Florida.

“We really don’t want to imagine what could have happened if it would have stayed in there — if we ignored it,” said Smith.

The concerned mother said doctors put her on antibiotics in case of infection and that she will be closely monitored.

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