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Medical Malpractice Blog Post

What Happens If Surgical Instruments Are Left Behind?

In the United States, approximately 1,500 people per year report finding items inside their bodies post-surgery — where a patient has undergone a surgical procedure and has been stitched up and release with an instrument still inside them.  Leaving surgical tools inside a patient is a completely preventable error, in which closer attention and care could have saved patients their time, discomfort, worry, and sometimes, their lives.

Medical reports over the years have indicated a range of surgical tools have been left inside patients following a procedure, such as:

  • Surgical sponges
  • Towels
  • Needles
  • Scalpels
  • Blades
  • Pins and safety pins
  • Tweezers / forceps
  • Tubes
  • Scopes
  • Saws

Although most objects left behind are detected and easily retained without lasting harm to the patient, some surgical instruments inadvertently left behind can cause severe pain or even death. Hospitals may try to minimize the severity of retained instruments, but they should not be able to get away with such mistakes. In truth, a study published in December 2012 shows that roughly 80 never-events — things that should never happen — occur on average 80 times per week.

You can recover monetary damages from the hospital and its medical professionals if you were harmed through surgical error. It is important to find a caring medical malpractice attorney who will listen to and understand your particular situation. Our lawyers work with you to fight for your rights to get you everything you deserve under the law.

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