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Items Left Inside a Patient After Surgery

There are many different kinds of complications that can occur during surgery. A common complication is a retained item left inside a patient after surgery. This retained object complication is getting increasingly more common and it is entirely preventable.There are a number of safeguards hospitals employ to prevent retained foreign objects after surgery. However sometimes the system breaks down due to human error or unforeseen circumstances related to the surgery. Leaving a retained object in a patient after surgery is a clear cut case of negligence in Ohio.A lawsuit for retained foreign objects after surgery falls into the category of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you have undergone surgery and feel that you have suffered a retained foreign object injury, contact the attorneys at The O’Keefe Firm. Leaving an object in a patient after surgery is the height of negligence and can easily be prevented. It is possible for an object to be left inside a patient during the most ordinary procedures. Sometimes objects left inside patients can cause serious health problems that could even result in death. It is rare for death to occur from retained foreign objects, but it is still negligence to leave a foreign object inside a patient after surgery.A retained object is anything that is left in a patient’s body after surgery or delivery of a baby. Most times the retained objects are pieces of medical equipment that nurses and surgeons use to effectively do the medical procedure. The most common retained foreign objects are:

  • Sponges
  • Towels
  • Clamps
  • Retractors
  • Gauze
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Generally there is no lasting harm from retained objects if they are taken out right away. However if these objects stay in the body there is the risk that serious infections can develop. With sharper instruments such as blades and scissors there is the possibility that blood vessels and organs could be damaged by the object. Hospitals are required to have a number of checks to ensure that retained objects incidents do not occur. Some common guidelines hospitals employ to reduce retained objects are:

  • Lack of effective communication
  • Application and adherence to standard counting procedures
  • Checking the wound for objects before closing surgical sites
  • Using x-rays and other technology to ensure no foreign objects are present

Despite these requirements items are still left inside surgical patients.

If you or a loved one has suffered complications from items left inside a patient after surgery, you need to ensure you are well represented. The complications suffered could have been avoided and may have lasting consequences that can affect the quality of life for years to come. The retained foreign object attorneys at The O’Keefe Firm are experienced medical malpractice attorneys and are able to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the damages you or your loved one suffered. For more information, read more about retained object errors or call us at 937-643-0600 for a free consultation.