Surgical Error

Man Wins Lawsuit After 57-Inch Wire Left In Body After Surgery

July 16, 2019 by James McHugh, Jr.
Surgeon

Most patients would be shocked to find out surgeons leave foreign objects behind in their bodies after a procedure. As patients, we are conditioned to believe we will receive the best medical care from our doctors; however, having an object left inside a patient after a medical procedure happens far more often than people realize. In a recent case, a man was left with a 57-inch wire in his body for over ten years after undergoing an angioplasty.

Medical professionals refer to foreign objects left inside the body as the “unintended retention of foreign objects” (URFO) or “retained sponges or instruments” (RSI). Any type of foreign object left inside of a patient after a procedure can cause serious physical damage and a wide range of complications. Sharp objects like needles or scalpels can cause serious pain and significant damage, including internal bleeding and organ damage. Even soft objects like sponges and gauze can collect bacteria over time, causing massive internal infections and blockages if they become lodged.

Objects Commonly Left In a Patient’s Body After Surgery

When a surgery is performed, a wide variety of supplies, tools, instruments, or other objects are used in the operating room – many in or near your body – allowing them to fall inside or be left inside by mistake. We previously blogged about common items that may be left inside a patient’s body after surgery, including needles, blades, clamps, sponges, towels, and more. It is worthwhile to note nearly seventy percent of foreign objects left inside a person’s body after surgery are sponges and related soft items.

Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common mistake for an object to be left inside a patient’s body after surgery is over. The human body isn’t built to house foreign objects, so when one is left inside you, your health will likely suffer. If a surgeon left a sponge, medical tool, or other foreign object inside of you after a medical procedure, you may have a claim for medical malpractice; the medical malpractice attorneys at Lopez McHugh are here to help.

 

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