A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Discusses Surgical Foreign Bodies and the Injuries They Cause

Hospital Negligence Lawyer Salt Lake City

The experience of going through surgery and then the painful recovery that often goes along with it can be both taxing and traumatic on a patient. But that experience can result in horrific injuries if the medical staff involved in the surgery make a preventable error and leave a foreign item inside the patient. In some cases, the effects can be so bad that the patient dies.

As patients, we would like to think that these types of mistakes hardly occur, but the truth is that for every 1,500 surgical procedures that take place, one of those patients will experience a surgical item being left inside them.

What Are the Most Common Items Left Behind in Patients?

The majority of items left behind (70 percent) are constructed of fabric and the rest are constructed of metal. Fabric items are much more dangerous for patients and the outcome is often more catastrophic. This is because the fabric can actually mesh with or wrap around the body’s organs and interfering with the organ’s function.

When a surgeon is performing a procedure, he or she uses up to 250 different surgical instruments and other items depending on the type of operation. It is up to the everyone on the surgical team to ensure the patient stays safe, however, the surgeon relies on surgical technicians or nurses to keep track of all the tools that are being used during the surgery.

Some of the more common items that are left behind include the following:

  • Clamps
  • Drain tips
  • Guide wires
  • Needles
  • Scalpels
  • Scissors
  • Scopes
  • Sponges
  • Surgical gloves
  • Surgical masks
  • Towels
  • Tubes
  • Tweezers

What Are the Symptoms Patients Should Be Aware Of?

There are certain symptoms that a patient should watch for after undergoing a surgical procedure that could indicate that a surgical item was left behind. If a patient experiences any of the following while recovering from surgery, they should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Abscess development
  • Any drainage that seeps from or around the site of the incision
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Constipation
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decline in overall health
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Fistula development
  • Hard time urinating
  • Severe headaches
  • Streaking around the site of the incision
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tenderness or swelling around the site of the incision
  • Vomiting up blood
  • Weight loss

Contact a Medical Error Attorney Today

A surgical patient who has been victim of this type of surgical error – or their family if the victim did not survive – is entitled to financial compensation for all of the losses and suffering the mistake caused them.

Attorneys have successfully represented many victims and their families who have undergone this type of experience and understand the overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial devastation that can occur because of medical negligence. Contact a hospital negligence lawyer Salt Lake City trusts at Rasmussen & Miner today to find out what your legal options are.