Retained surgical items lead to horrible experiences for patients

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2018 | Surgical Errors

Surgeons and their techs have to be careful when they are doing a procedure. Patients who are on the operating table have some very serious risks that they are facing. There are so many things that can go wrong in these cases. One very serious issue that is going to require a return trip to the operating room is a retained surgical item.

During a surgery, many different things are used to get the procedure done. These include needles and suctions, various instruments, towels and sponges, bits of instruments, guidewires, drains, catheters and other objects. Surgeons and others in the operating room must ensure that all of these are accounted for before the surgeon sews the patient up.

There are many impacts of having a retained surgical object that patients might experience. One of the troubling ones is that they are likely going to get an infection if the foreign object is left where it is. This means that the person will have to go back to surgery to remove the object.

Each hospital or surgical center should have clear protocol about what people in the operating room need to do to prevent retained surgical items. Keeping a count of every item used, no matter how minor, can help. Having a double check system can also help reduce the risk of this serious problem. Open and effective communication is vital.

For the patients who have to deal with the retained item, pain and suffering are usually present. You might just feel like something is wrong. You have the option to take action to seek compensation if you have to go through this atrocity.


FindLaw Network