How Often are Surgical Instruments Left Inside Your Body?

How Often are Surgical Instruments Left Inside Your Body?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), medical instruments retained after surgery are a real problem. NCBI states that surgical instruments are left inside patients between 0.3 and 1.0 per 1,000 abdominal operations.

According to the National Library of Medicine, out of the 28 million surgeries performed in the U.S. every year, 1,500 cases of retained surgical instruments exist.  

In this guide, you will learn the following; 

  • What are the specific instruments retained
  • What can these instruments cause to your body 
  • Steps to seek legal action

Most Common Instruments Retained 

You may be wondering what kinds of retained medical instruments are frequently found. 

While each case is unique, some surgical objects more commonly left inside a patient include:

  • Sponges
  • Scalpels
  • Scissors
  • Clamps
  • Forceps
  • Retractors
  • Drain tips
  • Needles
  • Tubes
  • Surgical masks and gloves

Additionally, if you feel that you’ve been injured due to medical negligence, you may have grounds to take legal action. However, it’s important to seek an experienced medical malpractice lawyer due to the complexity of these cases. 


What These Instruments Can Cause in Your Body

Foremost, why does this happen? Reasons include an error on behalf of the medical staff or damage sustained during the surgery, by not correctly checking that all instruments have been removed from the patient before closing them up. When this happens, it can lead to multiple complications for the patient, including:

  • Infections
  • Severe Pain 
  • Digestive System Problems 
  • Fever
  • Swelling 
  • Internal Bleeding 
  • Internal Organ Damage 
  • Obstructions 
  • Prolonged Hospital Stays 
  • Additional Surgical Procedure to remove the object
  • In some cases, death


Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney To Handle Your Case

Patients need to know the potential dangers of instrumentation left in their bodies after surgery and what steps to take in such situations. The best advice is to contact a medical malpractice attorney and let them guide you through the system. 

The Valente Law Group provides legal advice and strong court representation. With three decades of trial experience in this field, they will always put their clients first by being by their side from start to finish. Contact The Valente Law Group today if you feel you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim.

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