Gauze in Patient’s Nasal Cavity Was From Prior Surgery: A Defense Verdict

Janney sued Cherup and Ohio Valley Hospital. Janney alleged that the defendants fell below the applicable standard of care…, Gauze in Patient’s Nasal Cavity Was From Prior Surgery: Defense, May 2024


Janney claimed that Cherup and the hospital’s medical personnel packed the plaintiff’s nasal, facial and forehead areas with gauze and other packing materials during the November 2016 surgery. Janney’s plastic surgery expert testified that Cherup likely inserted gauze underneath the dorsal nasal skin to control bleeding after an accidental perforation. Cherup and the Ohio Valley Hospital surgical team deviated from the standard of care by failing to remove the gauze, the expert concluded.


The defense maintained that Cherup and the Ohio Valley Hospital medical staff met the standard of care in their treatment of Janney. Cherup’s counsel contended that the physician performed Janney’s surgery appropriately and did not leave behind any packing material.


Cherup further testified that gauze is never packed under the skin during a septoplasty.


Cherup’s pathology expert determined that the gauze in question was instead from Janney’s prior nasal surgery that had occurred in the 1990s. This was further supported by the fact that the material had been in embedded in scar tissue, the expert opined.


The hospital argued that the plaintiff failed to present evidence that an operating room nurse or surgical technician placed anything in Janney’s incision site, was responsible for that area or failed to remove anything from that area during the November 2016 surgery.


In the months following the November 2016 procedure, Janney complained of drainage, a nasal rash, an odor and soreness in her nasal passages. She was seen multiple times by Cherup and Ohio Valley Hospital staff, and she was given medications for what was diagnosed as an infection.


After removing the foreign body from her face in October 2017, Janney was seen by a physician who noted swelling and increased temperature to the region. The doctor excised fluid and recommended exploratory surgery to locate and remove any additional foreign bodies.


Janney underwent the surgery in November 2017. The doctor removed several pieces of a foreign body from the plaintiff’s nasal dorsum and radix area. A subsequent pathology report identified the foreign bodies as three portions of gauze.


Janney sought recovery of past medical expenses and damages for her past and future pain and suffering.


The jury returned a defense verdict. It concluded that Cherup and Ohio Valley Hospital were not negligent.


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