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Foreign bodies may be negligently left inside patient after surgery

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

If you have ever undergone surgery, you know that it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Your physician may reassure you that you have nothing to worry about, but there is always a chance that something could go wrong when you go under the knife.

However, not all medical issues are evident during the surgery itself. In some cases, patients appear to be fine during and immediately after the surgery but will eventually experience serious medical issues due to a surgical mistake.

Unfortunately common surgical mistake

One of the most common mistakes surgeons make when operating is leaving a foreign object inside the body of the patient during surgery and proceeding to close them up without removing it. This is referred to in the medical community as URFO, or unintended retained foreign objects.

Most of the objects left behind in a patient’s body are items used to perform the surgery. These objects may include:

  • Sponges
  • Clamps
  • Retractors
  • Gloves
  • Operating tools
  • Tubing

If one or more of these objects is left in a patient’s body, the patient may begin to experience symptoms, which could result in:

  • Infection
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Perforation of bowel
  • Severe pain
  • Death

It is hard to understand how an experienced, skilled surgeon could make such a careless mistake. However, physician burnout, long hours, lack of sleep, failure to follow hospital protocols, are all common reasons for this type of error. However, there is no excuse for this type of mistake, particularly when it causes harm to a patient.

Even the most minor surgery can turn into a catastrophic event if surgeons fail to exercise reasonable care when operating. If a physician left a foreign body inside of you during surgery and it caused you harm, you may be entitled to damages. A medical malpractice attorney can help you recover the compensation you are owed for this surgical mistake.