While some surgical complications are harder to avoid than others, leaving a foreign object in the patient’s body is never acceptable. Unfortunately, a 2012 study from Johns Hopkins published in Surgery estimated that 39 times in every week in the U.S., a surgeon leaves a sponge, towel, or other foreign object in a patient’s body. These are called retained surgical items, and they can have catastrophic consequences.
If you’ve been the victim of a surgical error of this nature, New York lawyers for foreign objects in the body from Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you pursue the compensation you’re due for damages. So call us now at 800-550-0000 to get started.
Types of Foreign Objects Left in the Body
A number of tools and materials are needed to accurately and properly perform surgery on a patient. These tools range from metal instruments to sponges, and needles to surgical knives.
When a doctor or other healthcare professional involved in performing the surgery doesn’t take proper care, these items sometimes get left behind in the patient’s body. Retained sponges are the most common type of surgical item left in a patient’s body after surgery.
Dangers of Surgical Objects Retained Post-Surgery
When surgical objects are left in the patient’s body post-surgery, a patient is at risk of developing a number of health complications. Depending upon the type of object left in the body, as well as the location of the foreign object, a forgotten piece of surgical equipment can lead to any of the following.
- Organ and tissue damage
- Removal of parts of the body where the object has adhered to the organs or body tissues
Liability for a Foreign Object Left in the Body
Leaving a foreign object in the body during a surgery is an avoidable error that a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional should never make. Doing so endangers the patient’s life, and is a display of a lack of thorough care on the part of the medical professional.
If a medical professional leaves a foreign object in a body during surgery, and if that foreign object causes healthcare problems for the patient, then the medical professional may be liable in a lawsuit under New York’s medical malpractice laws. New York law requires that doctors and other medical professionals perform their duties within an acceptable standard of care.
Clearly, leaving behind a foreign object in a patient is a blatant violation of that standard. When the standard is violated, the medical professional is said to have acted negligently. If you can prove the doctor’s negligence and link it to the patient’s damages, then the doctor may be liable for damages.
Seek Counsel with Our New York Attorneys for Foreign Objects in the Body
Following surgery where a doctor or other healthcare professional leaves a foreign object in your body, causing you adverse health conditions, you need the help of a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can guide you through your options for recovering damages and can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your pain, suffering, and medical expenses.
According to NY Civil Practice Laws & Rules section 214-a, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within 2.5 years of the discovery of the medical error. As such, if you need to file a medical malpractice claim to recover damages, call the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. as soon as possible.
To get started, reach our offices now at 800-550-0000 or use our contact page to set up your appointment.