February 21st, 2017
Medical malpractice cases can be notoriously complex. With the stakes high, they are vigorously defended, and often require testimony from various experts. Sometimes, however, medical malpractice is clear – like when the surgeon or another member of the surgical team leaves a sponge or other surgical implement inside the patient’s body.
Physicians and hospitals have procedures and protocols in place to avoid medical errors like these. Nonetheless, mistakes can and do happen, often with disastrous results.
Leaving Medical Implements Inside Can Have Disastrous Consequences for a Patient
Leaving a sponge or other surgical implement inside a patient’s body can have catastrophic consequences. Leaving a medical implement inside a surgical patient can result in pain, obstruction, bleeding and severe discomfort, and possible infection. If the surgical implement is sharp, like a scalpel, blade, or needle, it can result in punctures and perforations of internal organs, blood vessels, or bowels, which can lead to infection.
If the foreign object remains inside the patient’s body for too long, it may become encased in scar tissue that will need to be removed, often along with significant portions of healthy tissue.
Common items left inside patients after surgery include:
- Sponges — gauze-like material used to soak up blood during surgery
- Retractors — surgical steel tools that allow a surgeon to hold back the edges of a wound, incision, organs, or tissues to reach body parts
- Clips and Clamps — metal implements used to compress tissue or blood vessels, and to stop veins and arteries from bleeding
- Forceps — scissor-like metal tools used to grasp or hold parts of the body
- Scalpels or Blades — sharp metal instruments used for cutting and slicing
- Needles — thin, sharp objects used to sew sutures or stitches
- Suction Tips — used to siphon blood or other fluid from the part of the body that is the focus of the surgery
Leaving a Surgical Implement Inside a Patient Is Preventable
Leaving a sponge or other foreign object inside a patient after surgery is completely preventable, and is usually the result of negligence by the surgeon or another member of the surgical team. The mistake is often due to lack of attention when the surgeon or nurse doesn’t notice that an object was still inside, or is missing from the surgical tray. These kinds of mistakes can be easily avoided by accounting for all the supplies and medical instruments used during the procedure.
If the mistake is not corrected, a patient will often have already healed before realizing there was a medical error. Once the mistake is discovered, the patient typically will need to undergo another surgery, resulting in additional medical costs, more time away from work, and more trauma from the procedure.
If you or someone you love had a surgical instrument left inside, or were the victim of some other type of medical error, contact an experienced Michigan medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible. Claims against doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers need to be filed within an extremely short period of time.
Even if you're not sure you have a case, it's better to call an experienced Michigan medical malpractice attorney who can answer your questions. You'll never waste our time - we're here to listen, and want to know what happened. We'll be able to tell you if you have a case. And if you don't have anything to worry about, we'll tell you that, too - all at no cost.
Medical Malpractice Is the Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States
Nationally, approximately 1,500 medical instruments are left in patients every year. According to a study by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, medical errors in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.
If you or someone you love is experiencing pain, discomfort, or other unusual symptoms after a surgical procedure, or if you believe a physician left a sponge or other medical tool or device inside your body after surgery, there is a good chance you have a claim for medical malpractice. Cases like these must often be filed within a very short period of time. So don't wait - contact the Michigan medical malpractice lawyers at Muth Law, P.C. today.
At Muth Law, we have been representing victims of medical mistakes for more than 35 years. We understand that our clients are often scared about the future, have unanswered questions, and, depending on the type of procedure, might be embarrassed to call a lawyer. That's why at Muth Law, we promise to listen to you and your concerns, to be honest with you, and to work as hard for you as we would for our own families.
Call Muth Law, P.C. Today
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we have dedicated our careers to helping and fighting for people whose lives have been devastated by medical mistakes. Calling, meeting, and speaking with us is free. We represent people on a contingency fee, which means that you don't pay us unless we recover money for you. When you hire Muth Law, we become your partners, your advocates, and your seekers of truth.
If you think a medical error has occurred, contact an experienced Michigan medical malpractice lawyer today. We represent people throughout Michigan. Cases against doctors and hospitals can be complicated. Often, they often must be filed within an extremely short period of time. Call Muth Law, P.C. at 734-481-8800, email us at Info@muthlawpc.com, or complete our online form.
Categories: Medical Malpractice