Medical staff may leave objects in bodies more often than thought

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2018 | Blog

Having trust in your doctor may have come easily for you. Perhaps you have gone for regular checkups for years and created a doctor-patient relationship with which you felt comfortable and happy to have. However, when you need to undergo a serious medical procedure such as surgery, your regular physician may not have the ability to perform the necessary tasks. As a result, you may find yourself having to trust a surgeon you have only met a few times.

Going through any type of surgical procedure can be frightening in itself simply due to the nature of operations. Having your body cut open in order to repair, remove or explore a medical issue can have many risks. Unfortunately, one risk that can cause serious health problems relates to negligent actions on the part of the surgeon or other staff.

Foreign objects

After your surgery takes place, the doctor may inform you that everything went well and that you should recover soon. However, you may find yourself experiencing considerable pain or other issues that go beyond normal, after-operation expectations. These problems could potentially result if a doctor left a foreign object in your body after surgery. Unfortunately, this type of event happens thousands of times every year.

During many surgical procedures, doctors use hundreds of items, ranging from sponges to forceps. Because of the numerous items used, a tool could easily go unaccounted for due to miscounting or other negligent actions.

Often-misplaced items

Medical staff leave certain tools behind more often than others. Sponges top the list because they can easily become camouflaged in the body as they soak up blood. Nonetheless, difficulty of locating an object does mean that staff members should simply leave it behind. They should make every effort to ensure that each sponge and other tool is located and counted. Other tools often left in the body include:

  • Forceps
  • Needles
  • Gloves
  • Clamps
  • Scissors
  • Scalpels
  • Tubes

These items represent only a few of the most commonly left items, and numerous other tools could also potentially remain in your body after a procedure.

Negative side effects

When medical professionals leave an object in your body after surgery, you could experience a variety of negative effects. Some of the results include severe pain, organ damage, internal bleeding or death. In most cases, patients must undergo additional surgery to have the objects removed. If you have faced such a serious instance of medical malpractice, you may wish to consider your legal options for seeking compensation for damages.


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