When Surgical Instruments Are Left Behind in Patients

Personal Injury Lawyer

Even with all the advancements in the medical industry, going under the knife still comes with risks. When surgeons and other surgical staff are negligent, the risks become even larger. One of the most common surgical mistakes is leaving surgical tools behind in patients. This can leave serious and long-lasting injuries in patients. Here’s some further information about this common medical mistake:

Common Surgical Objects Left Behind in Patients

Surgeons may use many different surgical instruments during surgery. If they aren’t careful, they may forget to remove the instrument from the patient’s body after the procedure is done. Here are examples of surgical instruments that get left behind in patients:

  • Scalpels
  • Sponges
  • Forceps
  • Needles
  • Clips and Clamps

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

Patients who have surgical instruments inside of them face many serious health effects, including:

  • Punctures: Sharp surgical instruments, like scalpels, can puncture the organs and tissues around it, leaving lasting damage.
  • Infection: The bacteria left behind on a surgical instrument can cause a dangerous infection inside the body that occurs in just a few hours.
  • Pain: When a surgical object is left inside a patient, the pain can be excruciating. They may feel stabbing, aching or throbbing and can’t go about their day like normal.
  • Fertility Issues: If a woman has a surgery in which a surgical instrument is left behind in the body, she may have trouble with her fertility in the future.
  • Death: In the worse case scenarios, patients can die from having surgical instruments inside them.

Why Surgeons Can Make Errors

The majority of surgeons are very precise and careful when performing surgical procedures on patients. However, there are some who may not be as careful as they should, increasing the risk of errors. If a surgeon is exhausted from working too many hours or is unprepared, for example, he or she is more likely to make mistakes during surgery. Failing to adhere to hospital policies and poor communication between surgical staff can also increase the risk of mistakes.

Consulting With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you were injured while under the care of a surgeon, you likely feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. You put your trust in this medical professional and ended up with serious injuries. It’s important to a qualified medical malpractice lawyer about your case as soon as possible. He or she can assess your case and advise you the best way to proceed. A hospital negligence lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you bring a lawsuit against the surgeon, negotiate with insurance companies and protect your legal rights.



Thanks to Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into medical malpractice and when surgical instruments are left in patients.