When you undergo surgery, your doctor and the rest of the surgical staff will use many tools to complete the procedure. Scalpels, forceps, gauze, surgical sponges, and other tools should be properly counted and kept track of throughout the procedure. If a piece of sponge falls off or a tool is left inside the surgical site when the doctor stitches you up, it could be months or years before you discover the object, and you could suffer severe health effects in the meantime.
If you or a loved one underwent surgery and a foreign object was left inside, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami lawyer for foreign objects left inside after surgery may be able to take your case and fight to get you the compensation you need for your additional medical expenses and pain and suffering. Call our Miami medical malpractice attorney today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free legal consultation and discuss your case.
Injuries from Surgical Tools Left in the Body
During a surgical procedure, doctors and their staff are expected to keep the operating room clean and safe and to ensure that nothing gets into the surgical site that is not supposed to be there. In rare cases, healthcare professionals commit serious errors by allowing earrings and other objects to fall into an open surgical site. More common, but still just as negligent, is that a tool will be left inside the body. The most common issue that people face is that a surgical sponge or gauze will be left inside. These objects are used to absorb blood and allow the surgeon a clear view of what they are doing, but they can blend in and get lost in the body if the surgeon and their staff members do not pay attention.
Doctors are expected to count all of their tools and devices before the procedure and again before closing the incision. This means that there is no excuse for accidentally leaving an object inside after surgery. These kinds of cases are often considered obvious negligence.
If a foreign object is left inside your body, you can suffer serious physical effects. First, the object could cause discomfort and damage. Metal objects like forceps, clamps, or scalpels can cause serious damage when you move, potentially causing internal bleeding and requiring additional hospitalization. Second, having a foreign object inside you raises the risk of infection, even though these objects are usually sterilized.
In most cases, patients may live with discomfort or regular pain after the surgery. Doctors may calm the patient by telling them that pain is normal after surgery, and both the surgeon and the patient might not realize the problem is more severe. Typically, these kinds of surgical errors are not noticed until later when the patient seeks additional treatment for the pain or gets a second opinion from another physician.
Suing for Medical Malpractice for Objects Left Inside After Surgery
When a doctor commits serious errors that negatively affect your health, you may be entitled to sue the physician for the harm they caused you and the decline in your recovery. Typically, it is difficult for people outside the healthcare field to tell the difference between known complications and bad outcomes that come from errors. As such, injury victims usually need to rely on medical experts to help explain to a jury whether the medical care fell below the standard of care or whether the results were normal complications.
In most foreign object malpractice cases, the injury victim’s case is a bit simpler. A patient is unconscious throughout surgery, and the medical staff has full control of all tools and objects in the room during the procedure. This means that it must be their fault for something to end up left inside the body, and the law allows the court to presume the doctors were negligent when this happens. This can help you build your case and make it easier to prove the doctor was at fault. Your lawyer can take advantage of this rule contained in Florida Statute § 766.102(3)(b).
When you file a lawsuit for medical negligence, you can receive financial compensation for any harms the injury caused you. In most foreign body surgical error cases, the victim is going to suffer damages including pain and suffering for the injuries and additional medical care to remove the foreign object. The physician and their malpractice insurance should pay for these damages. Additionally, victims may need to miss work because of the injury or additional surgeries, and damages for these lost wages should also be paid.
Typically, your doctor will be covered by medical malpractice insurance that will pay for the defense attorney and any damages the doctor caused. This means you should work with a lawyer of your own to pursue your case. The defense attorney may aggressively defend the case and work to have it dropped, and the malpractice insurance may work to pay low amounts or block damages entirely. Your attorney will fight for you and work to get you the compensation you need.
Call Our Miami Sponge or Forceps Medical Negligence Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
If you underwent surgery and discovered that the surgeon left a sponge, gauze, or medical tools inside the incision, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, the surgical staff, and the hospital. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our Miami foreign object malpractice lawyer today. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA offer free legal consultations to help you understand your right to sue and how your case will proceed. To schedule your free, confidential legal consultation, call us today at (305) 694-2676.