Patients who find themselves facing a surgical procedure likely think about the cost associated with the medical bills they will accrue and the obvious risks of being put under anesthesia. However, surgery patients in Indiana may also need to consider the additional risk of taking home hospital property inside their own bodies. Between 4,500 and 6,000 such incidents happen every year in the United States.
Depending on the type of procedure being performed, it’s possible for surgeons to use up to 250 different utensils in the course of a single operation. This sheer number of items in the operating room creates the possibility for some of them to be left behind. Through lack of attention or genuine mistakes, 15 items are routinely found inside of surgery patients after their procedure. These items can include tubes, rubber gloves and more.
Nurses and operating room technicians are typically responsible for ensuring that every utensil is accounted for after the operation is over. Whether it be through carelessness, human error or severe exhaustion, there are thousands of times each year where that job is not performed correctly. Consequences from leaving objects inside a patient can range from harmless to fatal. While there are times where a patient can live for years with a foreign object inside their body, it could result in severe infections, blockages and more.
A patient who discovered that they have a foreign object in their body may want to immediately contact an attorney to represent them in a medical malpractice suit against the facility where their operation took place, the doctor in charge of their procedure or another responsible party. The attorney may help their client by either taking the case to trial or by negotiating a favorable settlement.