Surgical Error

Jury Trial For Patient Who Had Sponge Left In Her Body After Surgery

May 13, 2019 by Carrie Capouellez
What To Know About Surgical Errors in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Having surgery is scary on its own. A patient is told of the potential risks, however slight they may be. Patients feel safer when they put themselves in the hands of educated, experienced professionals trusted to minimize these risks. They expect to be in better health after the procedure than they were before the surgery.

Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common mistake for an object to be left behind inside a patient’s body when a surgery is over, as a retained surgical body. The human body isn’t built to accommodate foreign objects, and when one is left inside of you, there may be serious effects on your health. A Missouri woman experienced this fact pattern and is suing after a medical sponge was left in her body during gallbladder removal surgery.

Informed Consent

The process of a medical provider obtaining informed consent occurs when their communication with a patient results in the patient’s authorization or agreement to undergo specific medical treatment. The recent Missouri surgical malpractice lawsuit alleges the patient did not receive proper information on the risks involved with her operation, such as the potential for foreign objects being left inside her body following the procedure.

Retained Surgical Bodies (RSB)

The problem of retained surgical bodies (RSB) after surgery can bring about potentially harmful consequences for the patient. Leaving a foreign object behind in a patient’s body after a procedure can be life threatening, and usually an additional procedure is required to remove it.

The side effects of foreign bodies being left inside of a patient after surgery can manifest immediately after the operation or even years afterward. With more than 28 million operations performed nationwide, the number of cases in which foreign bodies are left behind during a procedure in the United States has been estimated at around 1500 cases per year.

Common Objects Left Behind

When a surgery is performed, there may be a wide variety of supplies, tools, instruments, or other objects being used in the operating room. Many of them may be used in or near your body, and can fall inside or be left inside by mistake. Some common items that may be left inside a patient’s body include:

  • Blades
  • Clamps
  • Clips
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Forceps
  • Gauze
  • Needles
  • Pins
  • Retractors
  • Scalpels
  • Scissors
  • Sponges
  • Suction Tips
  • Towels

Surgical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or a loved one suffered complications because of retained surgical bodies left inside a patient’s body after surgery, you need to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The complications you suffered could have been avoided and may have lasting consequences that can affect your quality of life for years to come. The retained foreign object attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP will ensure you receive fair compensation for the damages you or your loved one suffered. For more information, contact us for a free consultation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *