Doc to mom Lydia Wanke: We lost the needle inside you after birth

PHOENIX - A pregnant woman who went into labor with her second child had a unique experience while at the hospital.

Lydia Wanke said the birth of her son went very well, but it's what happened after the delivery that would make any mom cringe.

"The doctor said 'I need to tell you we lost a suture needle when we were trying to stitch up your episiotomy and we can't find the needle,'" Wanke said.

Wanke said she was told a needle broke off inside her and doctors needed to wheel her into the operating room for about 10 minutes at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix.

"This was probably as far away from my birth plan as could be," Wanke said. "I thought, 'how hard can it be to find a needle?'"

Harder than she thought.

Wanke said that 10 minutes turned into an hour and a half of doctors probing, cutting and taking X-rays, and they still couldn't find the needle.

"When I woke up again, it was four hours after I entered the operating room and they still hadn't found the needle," she said.

Wanke said it wasn't until she moved her leg position, that the needle became visible.

"The needle poked out. The doctor was able to take it out. Then it was over," she said.
Well, not quite.

Wanke said the bills she received after her hospital experience included labor and delivery charges as well as extra charges for an x-ray, anesthesia and operating room services linked to the lost needle.

Wanke said she and her insurance company were getting billed for about $25,000 involving the needle removal.

"It wouldn't be my responsibility to pay because they lost a needle," she says.
Wanke reported the problem to NewsChannel5 Scripps sister station ABC15 for help with the situation.

She said the hospital apologized to her and said it was not the kind of birthing experience they want to represent.

Eventually, the hospital removed all surgery costs and refunded payments that Lydia and her husband had made.

In an email to ABC15, hospital representatives said, "We really do not have further comment as we do not have a signed consent to discuss Ms. Wanke’s particular situation. However, we are happy that her follow up with patient relations resulted in a positive outcome for her. Our patient relations staff is always available to investigate these sorts of situations and try to find a solution."

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