Finding foreign objects inside the body after surgery is a recurring problem in New London, Connecticut, and other parts of the United States. Each year, 4,500 to 6,000 patients in the U.S. leave the hospital with a foreign object in their body. This avoidable mistake often leads to serious health complications or death.
It is estimated that surgeons use approximately 250 different instruments and tools during each surgery. Needles, sponges, scissors, scalpels, needles, drain tips, surgical masks, towels, forceps and surgical gloves are some of the most commonly forgotten items.
Human Error During the Operation
Sponges, which are used to absorb blood during surgery, often blend in with the internal organs and tissues. Sponges are the most common forgotten item, but many other types of tools are also left behind. A nurse or technician is assigned to count the number of sponges and tools before and after each operation. Still, fatigue or chaos during a surgical emergency may lead to human error.
Possible Physical Consequences
An object left inside the body may prove to be harmless or lead to fatal complications. Surgical tools or instruments that are closed in the body can cause:
- Internal bleeding
- Severe pain
- Digestive problems
- Internal organ damage
- Extended hospital stay
- Additional surgery
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The local news often highlights cases of medical malpractice. For example, a woman undergoing uterine cancer surgery had surgical scissors left behind. Another patient had a surgical tool left in her abdomen after a hysterectomy, and a gentleman discovered a 2-inch scalpel after his heart bypass surgery.
Leaving an instrument inside of a patient’s body is a preventable problem and is deemed medical malpractice. Victims of this severe concern often struggle with mounting medical bills, lost work, temporary, permanent disabilities or death. Highly-experienced medical malpractice firms fight to ensure that the victim receives fair compensation for all they have suffered or lost.