In some cases, surgical items are retained after the procedure is done. This is potentially as common as one out of every 1,000 surgical procedures. These retained items can cause some serious complications for someone who is just trying to recover from surgery.
There are steps that the surgeon and the rest of the medical team are supposed to take to make sure that this does not happen. They need to be very careful not to leave items behind and they must count the items at the beginning and the end of the procedure to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. But mistakes happen in every job, and surgery is no different. There are cases when items are still left behind, so let’s consider a few of the common ones.
Sponges or gauze
Sponges and gauze are often used to soak up blood, which can make them blend into the surgical site. These can then be left behind, which may require a second surgery to remove them.
Actual surgical tools
This is when things can get fairly dangerous. If items like scalpels or needles are left after the surgery is completed, they can cause severe interior trauma. This is also problematic because someone who has just gone through surgery expects to be in pain for a little while, and may be on painkillers, so they may not realize that there are further complications.
Devices that assist with surgery
Some of the tools used during surgery or not as sharp and dangerous as a scalpel, but can still be problematic when retained in the body. Even if they don’t cause physical trauma, they can lead to infection.
If you have suffered serious complications due to a doctor’s mistake, then it’s time to look into legal options.