Doc Avoids Charges For Surgery Botch

Miami surgeon left 13-inch clmap in woman's stomach

A trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital has dodged charges for his 2007 blunder that left a large tool inside a patient.

Juan Asensio-Gonzalez went before the Florida Board of Medicine last week to explain how he could have left a 13-inch clamp inside a patient during a 20-year-old woman's abdominal surgery.

The highly touted surgeon has long been considered one of the elite in his field, often featured in newspapers and appearing on "60 Minutes."

"Regardless of my credentials, I take full responsibility for this," Asensio said. "There's absolutely no question in my mind that this is my responsibility."

Before he had stitched up the patient, Asensio had made sure all instruments had been collected, even doing a recount. But a few days later the patient returned, complaining of stomach pains. An x-ray revealed the sloppy mistake.

The board dismissed the charges at a 7-5 vote, with some members placing the blame more on the support staff than Asensio.

``[Asensio] cannot personally do those counts. There's no way. To hold him accountable for the errors of the staff that are hired by the hospital, I think is very unfair to the physician,'' board member Steven Rosenberg said, according to the Miami Herald.

And board member Jason Rosenberg, himself a surgeon, said losing a large object inside a body isn't difficult to do.

"I know to the general public this will sound remarkable," Dr. Rosenberg said.

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