Surgical mistakes take many forms. Nurses can give patients too much medication. Surgeons may operate on the wrong body parts or doctors confuse the forms and send in the wrong patients. There are many examples and all can have negative impacts on patients’ lives.
One mistake that is fairly common is leaving an item in the body after surgery. The patient often has no idea what has happened or that anything is wrong — at least at first. They may experience pain, sickness, infection or other issues that indicate that a mistake was made, but these internal mistakes are difficult to pin down. This is especially true if the patient is healing from surgery and already expects some level of discomfort during that process.
However, determining that an item has been left behind is important, as it can lead to a second surgery to remove said item. Common items that get left in the body include sponges and needles, which are said to be the most common. But they could also include:
- Surgical equipment
- Marking strips
It really depends on the type of surgery. The extent of the damage also depends on the location and the type of item. Naturally, a sponge poses a lower risk than a needle in most cases. But anything can be very dangerous and can lead to infection.
If this happens to you, you must know your legal options. With many medical malpractice cases, there is a statute of limitations, but it often starts when you discover the issue. That may not happen immediately, but even noticing it days, weeks or months after the surgery does not prevent seeking compensation.