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Vet suing VA after discovering scalpel left in body for years

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- An Army veteran is suing a Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Connecticut after he says someone left a scalpel inside him after surgery, and it was only discovered years later, after he suffered from long-term abdominal pain. Glenford Turner, of Bridgeport, sued the VA in U.S. District Court last week.

According to court papers, Turner had surgery at the VA hospital in West Haven in 2013.

Nearly four years later, he went back to the VA with dizziness and severe abdominal pain. An X-Ray showed there was a scalpel inside his body.

Turner had to undergo surgery to remove the instrument, and his lawyer, Joel Faxon, says doctors confirmed it was the same scalpel.

"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," Faxon said in a statement on Monday, according to CBS affiliate WFSB-TV.  

Faxon said it was "unconscionable that any hospital -- particularly one serving our United States' veterans -- would be so haphazard in the care they provide." The VA did not immediately return messages Monday.

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