A woman is suing a Navy hospital, claiming it left a broken needle in her spine that she only discovered 15 years later

Jacksonville FloridaA general view of the harbor in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

  • A woman is suing a Navy hospital in Jacksonville, claiming doctors left a portion of an anesthesia needle in her spine 15 years ago.
  • Medical records, viewed by The Florida Times-Union, do not mention the needle breaking or remaining embedded.
  • The lawsuit, filed by attorney Sean Cronin, alleges hospital staff intentionally covered up the incident because they thought they would get in trouble after improperly administering the anesthesia.

A woman is suing the Naval Hospital at Jacksonville, Florida, after discovering a portion of an anesthesia needle was left in her spine before a C-section at the facility in 2003, according to The Florida Times-Union.

Her lawsuit claims that hospital staff improperly administered the anesthesia, which caused the needle to break, then covered up the incident. According to the suit, about three centimeters - just over an inch - of the broken needle were left inside her body.

According to the Times-Union, medical records from the time make no mention of the needle breaking but do say that "the anesthesia did not take."

Amy Bright, whose husband was a Navy corpsman stationed at the hospital, suffered from leg and back pain for several years, according to attorney Sean Cronin, who filed the lawsuit on her behalf.

Cronin told the Times-Union that the needle was discovered when Bright underwent a CAT scan last year. He told the newspaper that removing the needle is no longer an option, as Bright could suffer from further damage and even become paralyzed. Bright was reportedly never told about the needle.

"From our perspective this is a double failure," Cronin told the newspaper. "It is a cowardly, unethical cover-up."

Cronin told the Times-Union that hospital staff did not report the broken needle to Bright or the chain of command because "they did not want to get in trouble."

In a statement issued to the Times-Union, representatives of the hospital said they could not provide comments regarding the lawsuit or Bright's situation, citing patient confidentiality and privacy laws, but said they were "deeply committed to providing the best care to every patient entrusted to us."

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