Retained Foreign Objects Don’t Belong in Your Body – it is Medical Malpractice

Undergoing a surgical procedure can be nerve racking, even under the best conditions. A patient should not have to worry about retained surgical items inside their body. Unfortunately, surgical errors occur and foreign bodies, such as a sponge, needle, towel, metal clip, or other surgical instruments, are left behind. When a foreign body is left inside someone, he or she may be in danger. Complications like infection, pain, extended illness or injury, organ perforation, or even death are common. To top things off, additional surgical procedures will likely be required to remove the retained surgical items.

The only a small silver lining to this issue. Patients suffering injury as a result of foreign bodies left behind may be entitled to compensation from the medical care provider responsible. Because of their needless pain and suffering, they are owed compensation. At Tittle Law, our Ohio personal injury lawyers understand the life-altering effects that patients suffer as a result of careless medical mistakes. We are dedicated to helping the victims of medical negligence in their pursuit of justice.

Retained Surgical Items Commonly Left Behind

When surgery is performed, a number of supplies, tools, instruments, or other objects are used in the operating room. These objects are used in or near your body; and as a result, can fall or left inside.

Some common objects left behind are as follows:

  • Sponges and towels: These objects are used to soak up blood during surgery.
  • Clips and clamps: These metal objects are used to compress tissue or blood vessels. Clamps are also commonly used to minimize blood loss.
  • Scalpels or Blades: Often used for cutting and slicing, these metal objects can easily lacerate an organ if left behind in your body.
  • Retractors: This surgical instrument is another object usually made of metal. It is used by surgeons to hold open incisions, wounds, or even other organs in order to reach other body parts during surgery.
  • Forceps: These instruments are metal tools usually used to grasp or hold parts of the body.
  • Needles: These thin, sharp objects can be used for a number of things, including to stitch a patient up after surgery.

Consequences of Foreign Objects Left in the Body

Leaving a surgical tool inside a patient’s body following a surgical procedure can lead to a number of harmful complications.

Some of these include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Pain and Suffering: The most obvious complication of leaving an object behind is pain. This is common if the object is large, sharp, or made of metal.
  • Infection: Anytime a foreign body is left behind, the odds of infection are greatly increased. Infection inside your body is a serious medical condition that can cause a person to become extremely ill and may even lead to death.
  • Punctures and Perforations: A sharp object is a great risk that your internal organs or arteries, and your bowels may be punctured. This could cause internal bleeding, infection, and even death.
  • Death: If the foreign object causes infection or some type of perforation, the patient could die.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result retained surgical items, you may have a claim. This means you may be owed compensation. Call Tittle & Perlmuter at (216) 308-1522 or fill out our contact form online for a free consultation with one of our Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers.

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