When a foreign object is left inside a patient after surgery, it can cause a number of serious, even life-threatening complications. As a result, it could lead to compensation for damages in a medical malpractice claim for not only the medical bills and lost wages, but other losses such as pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish and more.
Possible Injuries When a Foreign Object Is Left Inside the Body
The most common repercussion of this kind of surgical mistake is pain. It can oftentimes be difficult to distinguish between normal pain felt after an operation and complications that are abnormal. As a result, the patient can end up suffering for an extended period of time believing the pain or discomfort is normal.
Another common injury is an infection from the retained foreign object. Fever and swelling may accompany the infection. But when the source of the problem is undetected, the infection can quickly spread and affect other areas of the body. In some cases, the infection may become deadly.
Another injury that can occur is to an internal organ or vein, such as if it is nicked or penetrated, especially when a sharp instrument is left inside.
Some patients who have been the victim of this kind of surgical malpractice may develop other complications such as scarring, bowel obstructions, or hernias, and may require partial removal of intestines. Needless to say, patients have to undergo a second surgery in order to remove the foreign object. And of course, some patients lose their lives as a result of this type of surgical mistake.
When a surgical error involves leaving a foreign object inside a patient, it causes not only physical harm but emotional damage as well. This can be in addition to the extended time spent in a hospital and additional medical costs. When this type of malpractice occurs, it’s important to seek legal advice in addition to further medical treatment and care when a foreign object is left inside a patient after surgery.