Retained surgical supplies are a big problem for patients

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2019 | Surgical Errors

Many different surgical errors can occur when a patient is under anesthesia. It is up to the people in the operating room to ensure that the patient remains safe. One problem that is particularly troublesome is when objects are left in the patient’s body. This is one surgical error that could always be prevented if everyone would just use proper protocol.

It is imperative that all instruments and supplies that are used during the surgery are accounted for when they are getting ready to close the patient up. This is the only way to ensure that nothing, including metal instruments, soft items like surgical sponges and other components, is left behind. Around 80% of incidents involving surgical sponges occur when the medical team believes that all of them are accounted for.

When things are left behind, the patient can suffer greatly. The human body will fight against these foreign bodies, which can lead to infection and other problems. It can sometimes take a while before the retained objects are found. Once they are, the patient will need surgery to remove the objects. Going through an invasive procedure because of someone else’s error is a traumatic experience.

On top of the fact that they have to deal with a surgical procedure that could have been prevented, these patients often have to deal with considerable pain and other symptoms. This can make life miserable.

Because of the added procedures that the patient must go through, they will likely have to take time off work. This can complicate their financial situation because they need an income to make ends meet. Most people can’t afford long periods off work while still being able to pay for their bills. For victims of surgical errors, medical malpractice claims might help them reduce the financial burden they have.


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