The Disaster of Leaving a Foreign Object in a Surgery Patient’s Body

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When you enter the hospital for a surgical procedure, you rightly expect the medical staff to provide the highest level of care. If they fail to meet this standard, the result can prove life-changing and even deadly. A growing medical malpractice concern is foreign object error, which occurs when an item is left inside of the body during surgery. If this happened to you, consult the attorneys of Schochor, Frederico and Staton, P.A. for knowledgeable and aggressive representation.

Types of objects left behind

Between 2005 and 2012, there were 772 incidents of foreign object errors reported to the Joint Commission. Sixteen of these incidents resulted in death and approximately 95% required additional medical treatment. In these cases, the patient may experience significant pain before the object is discovered. While most errors are discovered during the surgical recovery period, there are many instances where a significant period of time elapses between the surgery and discovery of the foreign object. Some of the most commonly left behind objects include:

  • Sponges and towels
  • Pieces from broken instruments, such as catheter parts, guide wires, and pieces of drain
  • Needles
  • Medical instruments

Knowledgeable attorneys explain how surgery errors happen

According to the Joint Commission, foreign object errors often occur for the following reasons:

  • Failure to conduct a proper instrument count post procedure
  • Poor communication between medical staff within the operating room
  • Intimidation of subordinate staff members
  • Failure to follow policies and procedures established by the hospital
  • A lack of policies and procedures within the hospital
  • Failure to properly educate the medical staff about the risk and prevention of foreign object errors

One of the biggest concerns with foreign object errors is the high risk of infection, which can ultimately lead to fatal organ failure. Victims are also forced to deal with the physical, mental, and financial burden of additional surgeries and medical treatments. This is particularly disturbing when you consider that these injuries are completely preventable. Our experienced Washington D.C. and Maryland medical malpractice attorneys fight to secure compensation for foreign object injuries.

Turn to an experienced medical malpractice attorney for help in Maryland and Washington D.C.

If you or a family member was injured by a foreign object surgical error, contact the attorneys of Schochor, Frederico and Staton, P.A. These award-winning medical malpractice lawyers are proud to represent the citizens of Washington D.C. and Maryland. Schedule your confidential consultation today by contacting the office at 410-234-1000.