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The Disturbing Problem of Surgeons Leaving Surgical Equipment in Patients’ Bodies

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Rockford surgical malpractice attorneysWhether it is an appendectomy, bypass surgery, cesarean section, carotid endarterectomy, or another surgical procedure, going in for surgery can be a scary experience. While most surgeries are successful and do not involve unexpected complications, not every surgery goes according to plan. Sometimes surgical procedures result in a patient’s injury or death, and there is nothing that the surgeons could have done to prevent it. Other times, it is the surgeon’s carelessness that is directly responsible for the negative outcome. One especially alarming example of medical negligence during surgery occurs when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside the patient’s body.

Foreign Objects Left Behind During Surgery

Surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical staff involved in surgical procedures must complete years of rigorous classes and training before being permitted to perform surgery. Unfortunately, these medical professionals may still make mistakes that endanger the lives of their patients. Equipment such as scalpels, scissors, forceps, clamps, and sponges, are often used during surgical procedures. Surgeons and nurses are expected to keep track of these objects and ensure that no object is still inside the patient’s body when the surgery is complete. Unfortunately, misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to equipment being forgotten. It is estimated that surgical equipment and other objects are left inside of patients’ bodies an average of 4,500–6,000 times each year in the United States.

Consequences of Major Surgical Mistakes Are Often Catastrophic

The problem of retained foreign objects is one that is entirely preventable. Medical staff should be fully aware of the number and types of equipment used during surgery and should account for these objects before closing the patient’s incision and completing the surgery. Leaving a foreign object inside of a person’s body can cause them to suffer extreme and unnecessary pain. It can also lead to life-threatening infections, punctures and perforations of tissues and internal organs, reduced blood flow, and even death. If he or she survives, a patient may require additional surgeries and other medical treatment to mitigate the damage caused by the careless error. 

In many cases, a medical malpractice claim can help a victim of medical negligence recover compensation for the damage caused by the mistake. He or she may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, rehabilitative expenses, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact a Winnebago County Medical Malpractice Attorney

Surgical errors can lead to preventable medical complications and needless suffering. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a surgical mistake, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS to discuss your legal options. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled Rockford surgical errors attorney by calling our office at 815-215-7561 today.

 

Source:

https://www.thoughtco.com/objects-left-inside-body-after-surgery-4061352

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