The number of items left inside of patients after surgery is in the tens of thousands. The incidence rate is often 1 for every 1,000 abdominal surgeries. The result is an increased risk of infection that requires corrective surgery. The ultimate result can be harmful for Florida patients.
Why items left in patients are often overlooked
Medical sponges are the most commonly overlooked items to be left in patients by accident. Sponges are often used to soak up blood or prevent clotting. When soaked in blood, they become difficult to distinguish among the patient’s bloody tissues and organs.
Another frequent cause of this type of accident is a difficult surgery that occurs because of an intraoperative change, such as the addition of a new surgeon or a shifting of the patient’s body.
An obese patient has excessive fatty tissue that may absorb objects quickly. An invasive procedure, such as liposuction or bariatric surgery, may require the use of dozens of surgical tools. If several clamps are used, it becomes harder for surgeons to concentrate on operating and remember where they put a small, insignificant tool.
When an incident becomes medical malpractice
Any incident that involves a retained surgical item could be deemed medical malpractice. As such, a claim could be filed against the particular health care provider or the facility where the mistake occurred.
How to contact a personal injury lawyer
Thousands of cases occur where surgical instruments, such as clamps, sponges and gauzes, are accidentally left inside of a patient’s body. Infections, abdominal pain and severe emotional distress may occur. Contacting a lawyer who handles these types of matters is the next step to obtain compensation and hold the medical providers responsible.