If you recently had surgery, it is likely because you had some kind of injury, obstruction or other medical need. You may also have elected to have a surgical procedure for cosmetic purposes. Surgery is essentially a controlled injury, so you can expect some pain and discomfort afterward while your body heals. The more radical your procedure, the longer you may feel its aftereffects.
After a reasonable period of recovery, you expect the pain to subside. In fact, your surgeon may have warned you that increasing pain is a sign of complications, including the danger of infection. However, you may never have expected that the complication you experienced was a surgical instrument or implement left inside your body during your operation.
Something doesn’t feel right
It is unthinkable and, in every case, avoidable, yet as many as 6,000 surgical objects leave the operating room inside patients’ bodies each year. Most commonly, a surgical team may lose track of the sponges they use to control your bleeding. The second most frequently left behind objects are needles; a surgeon may use dozens or even hundreds in a single surgery. Other objects may include scissors, scalpels, clamps, scopes and surgical gloves. Most often, surgeons lose instruments during surgeries in the abdomen, chest or vagina.
If a surgical team closes your wound and leaves an object inside you, it may be for many reasons. For instance, the mistake could happen due to fatigue, the complexity of your procedure, the involvement of several surgical teams or complications that arise during the surgery. That being said, this potentially deadly mistake is always human error and may leave you with serious consequences including:
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to the affected organs
- Problems with digestion
- Additional surgeries
- Fatal complications
Hospitals with high safety records have protocols in place to account for every object in the operating room at the end of a surgery. Some have advanced technology tracking systems, and others rely on technicians or nurses to count and recount before and after a procedure. If your Pennsylvania hospital does not have such methods in place, you may not be surprised if you are now suffering from complications after doctors left a surgical instrument in your body.
What can you do?
Medical science refers to this as a “never event,” which is an event that should never happen. If you are the victim of such a medical error, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. By reaching out to an experienced attorney, you may find the help and support to obtain your goals.