Negligently Leaving A Foreign Object Inside The Body
In a 21st century dominated by technology and medical advances, patients who are scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure generally expect that the surgery will be performed skillfully, competently and without complication. One of the most disturbing, but not altogether uncommon, surgical errors that occurs is when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside the body after performing an operation. This negligence can, in some instances, lead to a number of dangerous health complications including life–threatening infections, internal bleeding, nerve injury, and extreme pain or discomfort. In our experience, the most common foreign bodies that are left inside bodies are sponges, needles, gauze, metal clamps, and sometimes, surgical instruments. Naturally, when these objects are left inside a person's body, a second invasive procedure is necessary to remove them, thereby resulting in additional hospitalization, prolonged wound healing and recovery time, missed work, increased medical expenses and physical/emotional pain and suffering.
As experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice attorneys, we have successfully settled or received favorable trial verdicts arising out of a surgeon's negligence in leaving a foreign object inside the body following surgery. These cases, however, require a complete and detailed understanding of the appropriate pre–operative and operative procedures of each of the various health care providers who are involved in the particular surgery. For example, in every surgical procedure, the health care providers are responsible for ensuring that there is an initial count of all of the surgical instruments, sponges, clamps, towels that will be utilized during the surgery. At the completion of the surgery, at least one health care provider is charged with ensuring that the same number of instruments or surgical devices have been removed from the surgical field. Failure to accurately document this count can lead to a foreign object being retained inside the body. If you or a loved one has been victimized by a retained foreign object, call the lawyers at STSW for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.