Retained Foreign Objects After Surgery

surgeon using surgical toolsMost people find it unthinkable that a surgeon would leave a medical instrument behind in a patient’s body after a procedure because we expect to receive nothing but the best possible care from our medical professionals.

However, this situation happens far more often than people realize, and thousands of people every year who undergo surgery have foreign objects left inside them by their surgeon.

If a surgeon left a sponge, medical tool, or other foreign object inside of you after a procedure you may have a claim for medical malpractice, and a medical malpractice attorney like Harry Albritton is here to help.

Damage and Complications Caused by a Foreign Object

Many doctors refer to foreign objects left inside the body as unintended retention of foreign objects (URFO) or retained sponges or instruments (RSI). Any type of foreign object left inside of a patient after a procedure can cause serious physical damage and a wide range of complications for the victim of this type of malpractice.

Sharp objects, such as needles or scalpels, can cause serious pain and significant damage with every movement. They can puncture or cut arteries, veins, and vital organs.

This can lead to internal bleeding and organ damage. If the digestive tract is cut, gastrointestinal perforation or a perforated bowel can leak into the rest of your body, causing significant damage and often requires immediate surgery.

Even soft objects like sponges can lead to serious complications and catastrophic damage to a patient if left inside a body after surgery. Soft items like gauze can collect bacteria over time, causing massive internal infections. They can also become lodged, causing blockages that can lead to other major health problems. Nearly seventy percent of all foreign objects left inside a person’s body after surgery are sponges and related soft items.

Retained Foreign Object after Surgery Lawsuit

For victims of medical malpractice that occur when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside them after surgery, getting the full value of your claim is vital to your physical and financial health.

This type of malpractice almost always requires additional surgery, medical bills, and time off of work. Rehabilitation from this type of malpractice can take months, if not years, of recovery before a victim is fully returned to health. You need an experienced attorney to ensure that you receive every penny you deserve for your claims.

Compensation for medical malpractice includes payment for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are for out of pocket costs such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits.

Noneconomic damages include payment for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life. North Carolina caps noneconomic damages at around $500,000 unless it can be proven that the surgeon acted in a particularly reckless, grossly negligent, or malicious way.

Our Attorneys Can Help

Call the office or contact Attorney Albritton of Irons & Irons P.A. if you had a foreign object left in your body after surgery. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will go over your case and give you top quality advice on your legal options.


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