A surgical team at Mercy Medical Center in Redding left a sponge inside a patient and caused his death, according to the California Department of Public Health. The agency has levied a fine of $47,500 against the hospital for the fatal error. The patient, whose identity is not public, was at the hospital in September of 2017 for an operation to bypass diseased blood vessels in his abdomen and groin. He died 10 days later, apparently from an infection caused by the surgical sponge, which was found by an x-ray on the day the man died. The report issued by Public Health says the methodical procedure for keeping count of the sponges was not followed. In the months that followed the error, surgical staff throughout the hospital chain underwent retraining and the procedures were tightened to try and prevent another tragedy.