Woman says surgeon left materials in her body

The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against an Owings Mills gynecologist and Sinai Hospital, saying that the surgical team left sponges, gauze, fabric and plastic inside her abdomen during an operation six years ago.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court, accuses Dr. Sheo P. Sharma and the Sinai staff of negligence during the January 2001 surgery to remove a benign tumor on the patient's uterus.

LaShawn McClary, 40, is seeking $5 million for the medical errors, which damaged her bowels, ovaries and fallopian tubes, according to the lawsuit.

The materials were discovered during an exploratory surgical procedure two months ago at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where doctors discovered that the previous medical team had also failed to remove the entire tumor, according to the lawsuit. Other doctors who subsequently treated McClary were misled by a medical report by the surgical team, which said all sponges, needles and other materials used during the operation were accounted for twice before the incisions were closed, according to the suit.

Sharma did not return a phone message left at his Owings Mills office.

A Sinai spokeswoman said the hospital had no knowledge of the lawsuit. "We certainly take any allegation against the hospital seriously and will investigate," said Jill Bloom, Sinai's director of corporate communications.

Jennifer McMenamin


Muslims push holiday quest

In an effort to bolster support for closing Baltimore County schools for Muslim observances, the president of the Baltimore chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent an e-mail yesterday to hundreds of local Muslims to encourage them to attend Tuesday's school board meeting.

Bash Pharoan, who since 2004 has led the effort to close schools for Islamic religious observances, maintains that it would be only fair to give the same consideration to Muslim observances that has been extended to Jewish and Christian holidays.

He said next week's show of solidarity would be an appeal to Superintendent Joe A. Hairston, who is expected to present a proposed calendar for the 2008-2009 school year during the board's May 8 meeting.

"This will be a community appeal to the Board of Education, and especially to Dr. Hairston," Pharoan said. "My goal is for them to show their love for being Americans and residents of Baltimore County and their wishes to be included in the school system on equal footing with other religions."

Gina Davis


Meet the man behind Elmo

The Friends of the Catonsville Library will host Kevin Clash, the man behind Sesame Street's Elmo character for 20 years, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Catonsville library, 1100 Frederick Road.

Clash will discuss his new book, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, and introduce everyone to Elmo.

For information, call the library at 410-887-0953.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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