Surgical sponges, gauze, and other tools are incredibly important in many surgical procedures. Doctors rely on these tools to wipe away blood and fluids so that they can see what they are doing and prevent mistakes and injuries during surgery. Unfortunately, many medical sponges are made of materials that could shred or fall apart in the body, leaving pieces behind. Other times, negligent medical care leaves whole sponges inside the patient after surgery.
If you or a loved one discovered that your injuries were caused by a retained sponge after surgery, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today. Miami retained sponge from surgery lawyer Prosper Shaked helps victims of medical malpractice and their families seek justice for their injuries and medical error claims by representing them in court against the negligent doctors and hospitals that injured them. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.
Suing for Retained Sponge Injuries After Surgery
To sue your doctor for negligent medical care, you must prove that what they did fell below the standard of care expected of the physician. In most cases, this means you would need to hire a medical expert to testify for you in court. This expert’s opinion will be pitted against the doctor’s own medical expert, and the jury will be left to decide whether your doctor’s care was within the normal standards of care or not. In medical malpractice cases involving a retained sponge, the case is often simplified.
During surgery, the patient is unconscious and under the effects of anesthesia, making them unable to act. During this time, the doctor and their operating room staff are the only ones moving about in the area, and they have control over everything in the room. This means that the only way that a sponge could be left inside the patient is if the medical team left it there. Florida Statute § 766.102(3)(b) allows the jury to automatically assume that the healthcare provider was negligent.
For your doctor to defend against your claim, they would have to overcome this burden and prove that something else happened to intervene and put the sponge inside you – a claim they are unlikely to make. Working with the presumption of negligence, your attorney can aggressively pursue your claim and fight to get you the compensation you need.
Damages for Retained Sponge Injuries
If you have a sponge left inside after surgery, you could sustain serious injuries and have other adverse health effects. Some objects left inside a patient could cut them or poke and prod them from the inside, causing substantial injury. A sponge is soft, but it can begin to degrade, fall apart, and get into various body systems. You can also suffer harm from an infection or other problems because the foreign object is not meant to be in your body. You can also face substantial discomfort and pain from the bulge of the foreign object.
The pain and discomfort of this injury could require you to take time off work. This could result in lost wages from the pain as well as from the time you must take off work to get the sponge removed. Removing a sponge often requires surgery, which could mean missing substantial amounts of work. The cost of the surgery to remove the sponge and the medical care needed to treat any adverse health effects may also be expensive.
Injury victims can sue for both of these areas of economic damages. On top of this, they can sue for any pain, suffering, and other intangible effects of the retained sponge. These damages can often be substantial.
Discovering a Sponge Left Inside After Medical Malpractice
Before you can take your doctor to court for leaving the sponge inside, you must first discover that the sponge is there. Many doctors will tell patients to expect pain and discomfort after surgery, and patients may think that the pain from a sponge is just the normal pain from the surgery. Your doctor may affirmatively agree, accidentally or intentionally preventing you from investigating the pain and discovering the true cause of injury. Typically, patients do not discover a retained sponge until they seek a second opinion and get an X-ray.
You could potentially wait years before discovering the sponge inside you. In general, medical malpractice cases have only a 2-year statute of limitations. This means you must file your injury case within 2 years of the date of the surgery. If you do discover the sponge quickly enough, you can file the case within 2 years and move toward getting compensation for your injuries. However, if you do not discover the sponge until 2 years have already passed, it will be impossible to file your claim “on time.”
Instead, Florida’s “discovery rule” contained within Florida Statute § 95.11(7)(b) typically allows you 2-years after discovering the injury instead of 2 years from the date of injury. This means that once you discover the injury, it is vital to call a lawyer and discuss filing and preserving your case immediately. At the latest, you will have a 4-year limit from the date of surgery to file your case under Florida’s “statute of repose.” Some circumstances allow you to get around these rules, but you should work quickly to talk to a lawyer and preserve your case.
Call Our Miami, Florida Retained Sponge Injury Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation
If you discovered that you were injured because of a sponge or another object left inside of you after surgery, call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today. Our attorneys represent injury victims and medical malpractice victims and work to help them and their families get the compensation they need for medical malpractice injuries. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact Miami retained sponge injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.