Baltimore Retained Surgical Instruments Lawyer
Doctors leaving surgical instruments inside a patient sounds so dramatic, people think it never actually happens. Unfortunately, that is not true. Retained surgical instruments are a problem that is more common than people think, with thousands of cases arising every year across the country. Retained surgical instruments are extremely painful for victims, and can lead to perforated organs, internal bleeding, and life-threatening infections. Usually, another surgery is necessary to retrieve the object and correct the damage caused.
Retained surgical instruments are a result of medical negligence. There is no other reason why it occurs. If you or someone you love has been hurt by an instrument left inside during surgery, our Baltimore retained surgical instrument lawyers can advise on the legal compensation you are entitled to.
Common Retained Surgical Instruments
Any time doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals are not paying attention, it could result in a retained surgical instrument. The most common retained surgical instruments are as follows:
- Safety pins
- Knife blades
- Suction tips and tubes
Even more than the above instruments, sponges are the most common retained surgical instrument. Due to their very nature, sponges absorb the liquid around them. This results in them absorbing blood and other bodily fluids and blending in with the cavity. Of all the areas of the body in which surgical instruments are likely to be retained, the abdomen is the most common.
Causes of Retained Surgical Instruments
Retained surgical instruments are always a result of medical malpractice. In fact, these cases are known as ‘never events,’ not because they never happen, but because they should never happen. Some of the most common types of negligence that result in retained surgical instruments are as follows:
- Failure to follow procedure: Medical professionals should always count the tools they are using before and after the procedure. Today, electronic tracking systems are available to ensure tools such as sponges are accounted for. Still, it is shocking how few medical facilities utilize this technology.
- Deviations from procedure: This type of negligence is most likely to occur when emergency surgery is necessary and surgical teams have to be assembled quickly. When complications arise during surgery, the surgical team may also make hasty decisions, which could result in retained surgical instruments.
- Poor communication: Some surgeries extend over several hours. Surgeries that may take up to ten hours are not uncommon. In these cases, several medical teams are sometimes necessary and they rotate in and out. In these instances, good communication between the different teams is essential so no mistakes are made.
Call Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Baltimore Today
Retained surgical instruments are one of the worst kinds of medical malpractice a person could suffer from. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman, LLC, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers know this and it is why we are committed to helping people obtain financial compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt, call us today at 410.567.0800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.