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Retained items can lead to serious complications after surgery

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Misdiagnosis |

There are risks with surgery. Even minor surgery carries some level of risk, and major surgery that requires a person to be under the influence of anesthesia presents an even greater risk. There are thousands of successful surgical operations every day, of course, but it’s still important for patients to know that these risks exist.

In some cases, the risk could come from the negligence of the surgical team. This may qualify as medical malpractice. One example is when surgical items are left behind or retained by the patient after the surgery has been completed.

What items would be retained?

Sponges and gauze are two of the most common items to be retained after surgery. Other implements or tools could also be involved, such as needles, scalpels, drill bits, clamps and much more. It depends on the specifics of the surgery, but the surgical team is responsible for counting the implements and making sure they are all recovered.

What complications can this create?

If the team miscounts or other mistakes lead to items being retained, it can have severe complications. In some cases, it can be fatal. It could lead to pain, discomfort and infection. Even in the best case, a second surgery may be needed to remove the items, extending the healing time. All of this can be very expensive when looking at lost wages while out of work and the cost of additional surgery and care. 

For all of these reasons and more, it’s important for patients who believe they have suffered from medical malpractice to know how to seek financial compensation.