The director of Chum Phae Hospital in Khon Kaen has admitted that a surgeon there left a gauze bandage inside a patient’s abdomen during an operation but denied it contributed to the patient’s death.

 

Dr Kriangsak Watcharanukulkiart said on Tuesday that Ad Laiphukhiew, 53, had incurable kidney cancer and the operation was intended only to relieve his suffering.

 

Kriangsak was speaking to reporters the day after Ad’s sister, Boonthom Laiphukhiew, 43, brought the matter to the Khon Kaen complaints-receiving centre.

Boonthom alleged that a second operation was needed to remove the gauze, worsening Ad’s condition and forcing him to stay in the intensive care unit for the more than 10 days he had remaining to live.

But Kriangsak said Ad died two months after the second operation.

When Ad was first brought in for treatment, he was given three to five months to live. He had a large tumour in his abdomen and internal bleeding. The first operation was performed to reduce the size of the tumour and ease his pain.

When it was realised that gauze had been left inside the abdomen, the second operation was conducted to remove it and the family was paid Bt40,000 in compensation, Kriangsak said.

Fees were also waived for all treatment needed during the 13 days before the patient was discharged.

Kriangsak said the gauze mishap was not the cause of the death and the hospital would not pay a further Bt300,000 in compensation as demanded by the family.