Surgical Instruments Left in Body

Few people consider it a possibility that the educated and experienced surgeon they trust to operate on their bodies could commit such an incredibly simple error such as forgetting to remove a surgical instrument. Unfortunately, this error occurs far more frequently than it would appear.

Surgical Items Left behind:

By its very nature, surgery is a complicated and precise endeavor with a small margin for error. Consequently, items such as sponges, clamps, forceps, scalpels and other implements are counted and recounted before and after a procedure to ensure that no item was left behind. Unfortunately, accidents occur, and patients sometimes must face additional operations to remove the abandoned equipment.

Surgical instruments left in the body can cause a variety of potentially life-threatening conditions. PerhapsSharp objects can puncture vital organs and blood vessels and leading to internal bleeding. This kind of internal damage does not heal easily, and the medical procedures and medications necessary to minimize further injury may also be expensive.

Unfortunately, those who discover they have a surgical instrument inside them are the lucky ones. Medical professionals are more likely to notice a missing scalpel or clamp than less obvious equipment such as tweezers or sutures. Softer materials such as gauze and sponges pose an even larger threat because they can fester inside a body, potentially leading to serious infections if not immediately removed. Other types of instruments left in the body include:

  • Tweezers
  • Forceps
  • Clamps
  • Retractors,
  • Distractors,
  • Dilators
  • Suction tips and tubes
  • Irrigation and injection needles, tips and tubes
  • Scopes and probes
  • Carriers and appliers for optical, electronic and mechanical devices
  • Ultrasound tissue disruptors, cryotomes and cutting laser guides
  • Measurement devices, such as rulers and calipers

Victims of surgical accidents that result in an instrument left in their body usually have a relatively solid case of medical malpractice. You may be entitled to a monetary award for your pain and suffering, but if you hesitate the statute of limitations in your state may end your case before it has a chance to begin. Let our dedicated and experienced surgical accident lawyers get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.


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Hopefully you haven't had surgical instruments left in your body, but if so you may have a case of medical malpractice, contact our lawyers today - it's free.