Retention of foreign objects following surgery is a more common occurrence than one may suspect. Recent reports indicate unintentional retained objects may occur in as many as 1 in 100 surgeries. This means that doctors are failing to remove surgical instruments in thousands of patients throughout the nation. Utah has seen its fair share of these cases. Many individuals in Utah have suffered serious injuries or even death in these circumstances.
Common Instruments Found in Patients
The most common type of object left in patients following a surgery is sponges. Sponges are a necessary and common part of most surgeries; especially abdominal surgeries. Sponges create a unique problem because they are often very difficult for doctors and nurses to locate in a patient’s body. Sponges soak up blood and other fluids and can be hard to distinguish between actual tissues. Other objects known to be left in patients include just about everything you can imagine including needles, blades, pins, clips, gauze, and Junior Mints (well at least on Seinfeld).
To prevent retained foreign bodies following surgery, health care providers should count each and every item that goes in and out of the patient’s body. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. In some cases, doctors and nurses fail to properly count surgical items and patients are left with a potential problem and possible second surgery.
Symptoms and Post Discovery Solutions
Symptoms of a retained foreign body often include infection, fever, nausea, and various other related complications. Once symptoms suggest the presence of a foreign object, medical providers will often x-ray, CT scan, or use other imaging methods to confirm the identity and location of the object. Following this identification, a surgery may be required to remove the object and prevent further injury.
Utah Retained Foreign Object Lawyer
Foreign objects can remain in a patient’s body for several years before the object causes any harm. Some objects may migrate through the patient’s body and lodge far away from the objects initial place of deposit. Many patients have suffered serious injuries or death from the negligent failure to remove dangerous surgical instruments. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a retained surgical instrument, get help now. These cases require help from a Utah Medical Malpractice Lawyer experienced in retained foreign body cases. At Salcido Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys have worked on many cases involving all kinds of instruments. Call us today for a free consultation at 801.413.1753.