Surgery is an event that can leave you with mixed emotions. You feel that undergoing a procedure will prove beneficial as it is supposed to address a serious medical condition. Of course, surgery also comes with risks that make you feel nervous.
Any operation could have unexpected outcomes, but when a surgeon or other member of the medical staff makes a mistake, you could suffer serious injuries that may not be immediately apparent. In particular, having an object left in your body could cause extensive, life-threatening problems. This kind of medical error is known as a "never event" because it is an egregious mistake that should never happen. But never events do happen.
What objects are most commonly left in the body?
Unfortunately, medical professionals could leave many different objects inside your body. Though staff members should do their best to account for every tool and other items used during surgery, hundreds of items are often used during procedures, and objects are sometimes overlooked. Some of the most commonly overlooked objects include:
- Surgical gloves
- Surgical masks
- Guide wires
Though this list may already seem frightening, it does not encompass every object that could potentially stay inside your body after surgery. When it comes to sponges, they often go overlooked because they begin to blend in with the body as they soak up blood. This particular type of issue commonly takes place during abdominal operations.
What increases chances of retained objects?
Though the possibility for a retained object exists for any surgery, certain factors could increase the risk. Some of those factors include:
- Multiple surgical teams participating in the operation
- Patient having a high body mass index
- More than one procedure taking place
- Operations with high blood loss
When multiple people are involved, communication remains a top priority. Without the proper exchange of information, it can become even more difficult to keep track of all surgical tools.
What should you do if you have suffered due to a never event?
If you undergo surgery and suffer due to a retained object or have lost a loved one due to complications associated with an object left in the body after surgery, you need to understand your legal options, include bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional or hospital responsible for the error.