Surgical Instruments Left in Body
Our Firm Has Been Representing Clients in Medical Malpractice Cases Against Local Pittsburgh Hospitals and Doctors for Many Years
As a patient, agreeing to a surgery—regardless of how necessary—always requires putting a huge amount of trust in your surgeon and your surgical team. You know that there are risks, but when the surgery is medically necessary, there may be no alternative. When your surgeon fails to put your best interests first, is poorly trained or simply deviates from the generally accepted medical standards of care, the resulting harm can be serious and even catastrophic. Despite this, we all require medical care at some point and surgeons cannot guarantee a positive outcome in all cases—making medical malpractice cases especially complicated to prove. When surgical instruments are left inside the body, however, the case for malpractice becomes much simpler to establish.
Surgical instruments left in the body are included in the list of “never events” developed by the medical community, meaning that leaving a surgical instrument in the patient’s body is always a deviation from the standard of care to which the medical professional is expected to adhere. While any number of factors can contribute to circumstances where a surgical instrument is left behind, those causes almost always point to medical negligence on the part of your surgeon or surgical team.
At Matzus Law LLC, our experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to doing our part to keep our local hospitals as safe as possible. If you have discovered or suspect that a surgical tool has been left in your body, call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
When a surgical instrument is left behind in the patient’s body, the results can be severe. While some instruments may cause you to suffer chronic and debilitating pain, sharp objects that are left behind can cause catastrophic and difficult to explain internal bleeding. In almost all cases, a second surgery will be required to remove the object, resulting in more time spent away from work and more extreme medical bills. Surgical instruments that are commonly left inside the patient’s body may include:
When a surgical instrument is left behind in the patient’s body, the results can be extreme. Surgical instruments may move within the body or become lodged in a particular region. Common complications that can arise when a surgical tool is left behind include:
At Matzus Law LLC, our compassionate team of medical malpractice lawyers understand how exhausting surgery can be even if everything goes according to plan. When you suspect or discover that a surgical instrument has been left behind and you will now be required to undergo an additional surgery and treatment for any side effects, the exhaustion and frustration you will feel is only magnified. We know that your health is your number one concern, which is why we take on the responsibility of advocating on your behalf to make sure you are fully compensated for the harm you have suffered.
Surgical instruments left in the body usually present relatively straightforward medical malpractice cases from the standpoint of establishing liability. Despite this, your case can be complicated by any number of factors and the insurance companies involved generally remain motivated to minimize the amount of compensation you will receive.
Our experienced Greensburg, PA medical malpractice lawyers are here to help ensure you receive compensation that not only accounts for your current expenses, but all potential future expenses as well as your pain and suffering. Schedule a free initial case evaluation today by calling our office or filling out this online contact form.
Because of the extreme nature of the consequences that can result when surgical instruments are left in the body, every surgical team should maintain a checklist of the items that are used during your surgery. At various points during a longer surgery, or at minimum before closing the incision, a full inventory of those items should be made to ensure that nothing is left behind.
Even if your surgeon executes your surgery itself well, operating rooms are often a high-pressure environment that can make circumstances ripe for error. In some cases, the surgical team may be understaffed or undertrained, or the protocols put into place for preventing situations where surgical instruments are left behind may be inadequate. Surgical staff members may fail to communicate effectively so that all parties believe that another party has conducted the required “count” of the items used during surgery—or the surgical staff may simply be exhausted. Regardless of the cause, there is never an acceptable reason why surgical instruments should be accidentally left in the body after the incision has been closed.
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