CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Gynecologist accused of leaving phone inside patient's belly

Technically Incorrect: A Jordanian doctor performing a C-section allegedly leaves something behind. The case is reportedly discussed in parliament.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


You think you'd notice if you left your phone inside someone's body, wouldn't you? Sarah Tew / CNET

Does this story have a ring of truth?

You must decide. But first, please lie down while we examine together the lament of Hanan Mahmoud Abdul Karim.

She is a 36-year-old Jordanian woman who went to a private hospital on April 24 for a C-section.

As reported by Gulf News, she gave birth, but when she came home, her family claim they noticed that her abdomen was vibrating.

By this point you, like I, might already be rolling your eyes. However, the story goes that Karim's mother brought her back to the hospital, where she allegedly received no help.

So she took her to a public hospital in Amman, where they performed an X-ray. Karim's stomach must have flipped. For, after emergency surgery, a cell phone was allegedly removed.

Gulf News goes on to explain that this case so roiled the nation that it was discussed in the Jordanian parliament. One lawmaker reportedly declared: "In countries which show respect to their nations, and following such scandals, governments usually resign. The parliament should show responsibility and be on the level of the case."

I'd like to make the Jordanian parliament (if not Karim) feel better. The Washington Post reported last year that US surgeons leave something behind inside their patients once every 5,000 to 7,000 surgeries. For comparison, there are at least 50 million surgeries a year.

You do the math. I don't currently have the stomach for it.

Often, but not always, these are surgical items like sponges.

Still, one question about the Jordanian case affects my indigestion: where did the gynecologist think he'd left his cell phone? Don't you look everywhere and then eliminate places one by one? Might the mere thought of a surgical error have crossed his mind?

It's not known what sort of phone this was. However, if he'd had a phone tracer app like Find My iPhone, surely he'd have been able to locate the phone.

Or perhaps he did and hoped the battery ran out before anyone noticed.