A foreign object left in the body after operation is a serious health hazard
''They were really shocked,'' said Dr. Dembitzer,an internist at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, California. ''They said, 'You have to come down here and see what we found.''' Dr. Dembitzer was then shown a C.T. scan of a 59-year-old man’s abdomen. The patient was complaining of nausea and pain in his stomach. There, on the C.T. scan, was a six-inch metal surgical clamp – a foreign object that was a serious hazard to his health.
''I had no idea I was going to find this,'' said Dembitzer.
Remarkably, this was not the first time this patient had a clamp left inside him after a surgery. The first one was left behind after a surgery in 2000, and then removed eight months later after it had caused a serious infection. The one Dr. Dembitzer found on the C.T. was from the same operation – it had simply been overlooked when the surgeon removed the first clamp. Dembitzer had this to say regarding this astonishing oversight:
''I'm not a surgeon and I don't work in the operating room, but from all I know we have a lot of systems in place to make sure everything that goes into the operating room is counted when it goes in and when it comes out. And if there is any question, they will hold a patient there and take an X-ray to make sure,'' (NY Times).
Regardless of the measures put in to place to make sure this does not happen, foreign objects left in the body after an operation happens. Weitz & Luxenberg can help you get compensation for any injuries, expenses and suffering you senselessly incurred during your ideal.
What risks do foreign objects in the body pose?
Dr. Atul A. Gawande, a surgeon, wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that accidently leaving a surgical apparatus behind in a body is ''an uncommon but dangerous error,'' the likes of which can cause:
- Severe infections
- Severe damage to the organs
- Other medical complications that result in death
There have even been times when an X-ray showed a shadow that looked like a tumor, but turned out to be a foreign object left behind in surgery. As a result, these patients needlessly had parts of their body removed (NY Times).
How common is this?
Retention of a foreign object inside a body occurs in approximately 12.5% of all surgeries (Annals of Surgery). The risk increases with the complexity of the surgery. In other words, a minor surgery has a low risk because there are fewer items used; however, a surgeon performing a complicated surgery that involves many different apparatuses has a greater risk of forgetting an item.
How Weitz & Luxenberg can help
Those that have been seriously injured by negligent surgeons leaving objects in patients’ bodies have the right to compensation for all financial loses and pain and suffering related to the incident. Weitz & Luxenberg has skilled medical malpractice attorneys ready to help you seek compensation. To start the process, simply fill out the form on this page. It is easy, fast, and entitles you to a free legal consultation. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve, contact Weitz & Luxenberg today.
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