Medical Malpractice and Retained Foreign Objects After Surgery
Medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients. If medical professionals deliver care that deviates from the accepted standard, patients may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim allows patients to pursue financial compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages related to injuries caused by medical neglect.
Retained foreign objects after surgery are one of the most egregious errors a medical professional can make. Lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C., in Brooklyn, NY, assist clients in filing a medical malpractice claim for retained foreign objects after surgery.
What Types of Objects May Be Left After Surgery?
Surgery involves the placement of surgical tools and instruments in the body. Some procedures involve the placement of permanent objects, like surgical mesh, a pacemaker, or surgical screws. However, most tools are placed temporarily. Medical professionals are responsible for removing foreign objects. Failure to do so is a blatant form of medical neglect.
Various tools and instruments may be mistakenly left behind after surgery, including:
- Cotton swabs
- Gauze pads
Complications Caused by Retained Foreign Objects After Surgery
Retained foreign objects can result in various complications for Brooklyn patients. Most commonly, retained foreign objects cause infection. Retained foreign objects can also interfere with bodily functions, cause internal bleeding, pierce or damage an organ, or even result in death.
Symptoms of Retained Foreign Objects
Since retained foreign objects are inside the body, they are not visible. And a patient has no way of knowing what happened during their surgical procedure. Most retained foreign objects are only detected after a patient reports symptoms. Potential symptoms of retained foreign objects include:
- A mass near the surgical site
- Inflammation or hardening of the incision site
- Discoloration around the incision site
- Blood, pus, or oozing at the incision site
- Foul odor from the incision site
- Stitches pulling apart at the incision site
- Pain that worsens over time
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty with urination or bowel movements
What to Do if You Suspect a Retained Foreign Object After Surgery
Retained foreign objects can cause physical and financial losses. Brooklyn patients who suspect they have retained a foreign object after surgery should take steps to recover physically and financially.
- Find a new doctor to locate the object and provide the necessary treatment
- Gather medical records related to the initial surgery and all follow-up treatment
- Contact a medical malpractice lawyer to pursue compensation for related damages
Medical Malpractice Damages
Victims of medical malpractice may be due compensation for the economic and non-economic losses related to retained foreign object complications. Potential damages include:
- The cost of follow-up surgery or other medical procedures
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income while recovering from injuries
- Diminished wage-earning capacity
No patient should suffer the physical, emotional, or financial damages of retained foreign objects after surgery. If you have been a victim of substandard medical care, medical practice attorneys at Zucker & Regev, P.C. can help you hold liable parties accountable. To schedule a case review at our law firm, send us a message or call (718) 624-1211.