SURGICAL SPONGE LEFT IN PATIENT | SURGICAL INSTRUMENT LEFT IN PATIENT | SURGICAL OBJECT LEFT IN PATIENT | MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN SURGERY
Each year, approximately 1,500 people in the United States have surgical sponges or other surgical objects unintentionally left inside them after surgery, according to published reports. This happens even though surgeons, operating room nurses, and other medical personnel are trained to avoid this avoidable and unacceptable medical mistake.
How to Avoid Leaving Surgical Sponge in Patient
The medical field has well-recognized procedures designed to avoid retained sponges and surgical instruments after surgery. This includes written protocols that require operating room nurses to take sponge and instrument counts before, and at the end, of surgery. In addition, a surgeon has the responsibility to check internally to ensure that no sponge or instrument is left behind. The surgeon cannot rely solely on the nurses’ report that the final sponge and instrument count is correct. In short, there is a duty to prevent a surgical sponge left in a patient.
Surgical Instrument Left in Patient After Surgery
Despite training and procedures, surgical sponges are left in the body. In fact, sponge manufacturers now make surgical sponges with radio frequency tags. At the end of the surgical procedure, a wand is passed over the patient’s body, and any retained sponge will cause an audible and visual alarm.
Legal Claims for Surgical Sponge Left in Patient
When a sponge is left in a patient after surgery, it often causes internal injuries, and sometimes even death. Typically, there must be a second, and unnecessary, surgery to remove a surgical sponge left in a patient. The victim of this medical mistake has a claim for medical malpractice, and may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering; medical expenses; lost income; and effects on activities.
Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has been helping people for more than 40 years. He has handled successfully medical malpractice cases, including cases where a sponge was left in a patient and where a sponge was left in the abdomen after surgery.
Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in wrongful death and other cases — has earned him the recognition of his peers. He has been designated a “Maryland Super Lawyer,” and previously selected as one of the Top 100 in Maryland. He has received the prestigious and highest peer rating for legal ability and professional ethics, “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell. This is the oldest and most widely recognized lawyer rating directory in the legal profession. Mr. Smith has received this rating every year since 1988.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury because a sponge was left in a patient, a sponge was left in the abdomen, or a surgical instrument was left in the body, call (410) 441-5054 now, or contact us online, to schedule a consultation.
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