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Surgical Instruments Left in Body

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Assisting Victims in Baltimore

After surgery, we may expect to deal with complications associated with the procedure, but we certainly do not anticipate needing to deal with an entirely new medical problem due to a surgical instrument being left in our body. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a surgical instrument being left in your body, it is imperative to contact a Baltimore surgical malpractice attorney. A surgical instrument being left in a patient is a mistake that should never happen and can lead to long-term injuries. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the seriousness of such an ordeal and will fight aggressively to get you the compensation that you are rightfully owed for your harm.

Statistics on Surgical Items Being Left in the Body

The Johns Hopkins Institute has found that surgical items are left inside patients approximately 39 times a week. In fact, there are approximately 4,500 to 6,000 cases each year involving foreign objects being found in a patient’s body after surgery. These medical errors are known as “never events” in the medical community because they are so serious that medical professionals agree that they should never happen, especially since these types of errors are entirely preventable. The most common surgical item left in the body after a procedure is a surgical sponge. Other items that are commonly left inside patients include needles, scalpels, tweezers, forceps, and scopes, as well as suction tubes and tips.

Filing a Maryland Medical Malpractice Claim

The consequences of leaving a surgical tool inside the body can vary from minor to deadly. When foreign objects are left inside the body, they can lacerate or puncture vital organs, causing heavy internal bleeding and other life-threatening complications. In some cases, these objects can cause serious infections.

Leaving a surgical instrument in a patient’s body is clearly a medical mistake. There is simply no reason why this should ever happen. Patients who have suffered harm due to a surgical instrument being left inside their body can sue for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injuries or death by failing to provide medical services at the standard of care required of that medical professional. In order to win a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:

  • The doctor owed him or her a duty to adhere to the standard of care (i.e., the level of skill and care that a reasonable doctor in the same specialty would have used);
  • The doctor breached this duty by leaving a surgical instrument in the patient’s body;
  • The doctor’s breach was a direct cause of the patient’s injury; and
  • The patient’s injury is compensable.

The main difference between a traditional negligence claim and a medical malpractice claim is that an expert witness typically must testify to establish the standard of care and how it was violated in a medical malpractice case. In other words, your attorney will hire an expert to review the medical records and testify as to how the malpractice occurred.

Compensation for Medical Malpractice

As a practical matter, patients with surgical instruments left in their bodies will likely require additional surgeries to remove the object, which could lead to prolonged hospital stays, time off from work, and an unexpected pile of hospital bills. Fortunately, medical malpractice victims in Maryland can recover a variety of damages, including medical expenses (past, present, and future), rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

Hire a Trustworthy Medical Negligence Lawyer in the Baltimore Area

It is terrifying to think that after a surgery, you could have a surgical instrument wandering around your body. If you have been a victim of a surgical instrument left in your body after a surgery, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore attorneys are committed to holding medical professionals accountable for the harm that their negligent actions cause. We know how daunting this experience can be, and we will handle your case with the utmost sensitivity. For more information, call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.