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Instruments Retained After Surgery

Medical Malpractice Law

Instruments Retained After Surgery

Located in Memphis, TN

Surgical instruments can be left in a patient's body after surgery. This medical error can result in serious complications, including pain, infection, and in some cases, death. At a minimum, a patient will face additional surgery so that the items left behind can be removed.

Retained surgical instruments are sometimes called "RSI" or retained foreign bodies and can happen while being treated in a hospital. These are things that were not designed to be left in the body, but are items that may be utilized during a surgical procedure. Examples of retained foreign bodies include sponges, towels, needles, knife blades, safety pins, scalpels, clamps, scissors, tweezers, forceps, suction tips and tubes, scopes and many other devices inadvertently left in a patient's body. Sponges, in fact, are the item most frequently left behind. The abdomen is the most common location for an RSI incident. The most frequently reported retained instrument is a malleable (shapeable) or ribbon retractor.

It is not unusual during a procedure for surgical clips and staples to be utilized and left in the body. These items are generally designed with the understanding that they may need to be left in the body. While there are times that a clip may migrate and create a problem for an individual, that does not mean that it would be negligent on the part of the healthcare provider to have left it from the outset.

For wronged patients and/or their families, the only recourse is to seek compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm imposed on them through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

How Surgical Items are Left Behind

An invasive surgery can involve hundreds of surgical items and instruments. They must all be accounted for so that none are left in the patient's body. It may seem obvious that the key to making sure no surgical instruments are left behind is to keep a count of what surgical items are used and where each one ends up.

Unfortunately, a surgical environment is stressful and often fast-paced. Making a count quickly can lead to mistakes.

Some of the identified high risk categories for retained surgical instruments include:

Emergency surgery - Organizing a surgical team quickly is difficult in such situations, which makes maintaining an accurate count of materials used a greater challenge.

Deviations from planned procedures - Unexpected complications during surgery can create confusion and increase the risk of losing track of how many implements have been used.

Patient weight - A higher mean body-mass index (obesity) puts a patient at increased risk for retained objects.

Failure to follow counting procedures - It is standard practice for operating room nurses to count sponges once at the start of a surgical procedure and twice at its conclusion, the Joint Commission says. Instruments are to be counted in all procedures involving open cavities. If all materials are not accounted for at the conclusion of a procedure, radiography or manual exploration must take place.

Communication breakdowns - In complex and lengthy surgeries, teams of nurses and technicians may change at some point. Poor communication between the teams can lead to miscounts and retained surgical instruments, the Center for Surgery and Public Health says.

Even when a miscount is identified during surgery, the incident puts the patient at risk as the operation is delayed while a count is repeated.

Retained surgical instruments and items can lead to post-procedure infections, bowel perforation, abscess, undue pain, return to surgery, and even death, the Joint Commission says.

These surgical issues can lead to consequences that extend beyond clinical complications and often include additional financial burdens such as extended lost time from work, additional expenses related to frequent follow up visits and additional medications."

Medical professionals have a duty to meet a recognized standard of care. When they fail to live up to their duty, patients and their families have a right to seek money damages.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by an incident of retained surgical instruments / items, you may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations : Except in certain cases, in Tennessee you only have one (1) year from the date you believe a health care provider acted negligently in which to file a formal Complaint for Damages against the health care provider. If you fail to do so within that period of time, your claim will be forever lost. If a patient does not know of the negligence, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not discover that he or she sustained an injury within the one after the negligent care was provided, then the patient has only one from the date when he or she discovers the negligence and resulting injury or discovers facts that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should lead to the discovery of the negligence and the resulting injury in which to file a lawsuit.

This means it's important to act immediately if you or a loved one has suffered injury because of a retained surgical instrument or item. Contacting a skilled and experienced malpractice attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm will provide you with the answers you need. We can be reached anytime thru our contact section or call for a free case evaluation at 901-526-9494.

 

BRAIN INJURIES

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious health problem. Approximately 1.7 million people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is any bump or blow to the head or penetrating head injury that disrupts brain function. A brain injury can result from hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, due to a medical provider's over medication. Traumatic brain injuries range from brief changes in mental status to severely compromised function to extended periods of unconsciousness or amnesia.

Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate assistance.

BIRTH INJURIES

A 2010 study in the American Journal of Gynecology estimated that birth injuries caused by trauma occur in about 26 of every 1,000 deliveries. Larger infants are more difficult to deliver and more susceptible to birth injuries caused by the use of excessive force from obstetrical tools such as forceps or vacuum devices. Complications during pregnancy that are missed or untreated can often lead to birth injury. Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care.

Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate assistance.

 

MISDIAGNOSED CANCER

A cancer misdiagnosis may waste precious months during which a treatable cancer spreads to other parts of the body and becomes an incurable, advanced cancer. Improper tissue and blood sampling, combined with inaccurate reading of hospital lab results, lead to most cancer misdiagnosis errors. A misread mammogram or other screening tests may also lead to a significant delay in the diagnosis of cancer.

Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate assistance.

 

ANESTHESIA COMPLICATIONS

Many anesthesia complications happen because a patient isn't properly evaluated before a procedure or carefully monitored afterward. Patients should never die or suffer serious injury during surgery or immediately afterward because of adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate assistance.

 

DELAYED DIAGNOSIS

A doctor has a duty to reach a list of possible diagnoses that describe a patient's symptoms, then to focus on ruling out the diagnoses that pose the greatest risk. A doctor who fails to follow these basic steps can miss a diagnosis, with serious consequences for the patient. Some of the more common causes we see include failure to diagnose a heart attack.

Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate assistance.

EMERGENCY ROOM MALPRACTICE

Emergency room errors occur when a person goes to an emergency room and rather than receiving appropriate treatment the patient instead becomes the victim of emergency room malpractice or doctor malpractice and leaves the hospital with additional and more complicated medical problems. The acceptable standard of care in an emergency room setting includes the responsibility to identify the medical condition and/or problem and then to take the appropriate corrective action.

 

Some of the common emergency room errors are:

  • Failure to properly diagnose a serious medical condition
  • Failure to treat a serious medical condition
  • Untimely diagnosis of a serious medical condition
  • Untimely treatment of a serious medical condition, such as stoke, embolism, blood clot or heart attack
  • Failure to obtain informed consent for a medical procedure
  • Miscoding or misinterpretation of a diagnostic test such as an x-ray, CT scan or MRI

The critical issue in many personal injury cases is just how a "reasonable person" would be expected to act in the situation that caused the injury. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act like a "reasonable person". Whether a given person has met the "reasonable person standard" is often a matter that is decided by a jury after the presentation of evidence and argument at trial.

Don't let a hospital or doctor tell you these things happen in the course of medical care and cannot be prevented. Some of these actions most certainly can be avoided, and The Chiozza Law Firm will let you know if their actions were within the normal standard of care. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice claims and the knowledge needed to tackle these issues it is important to call an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free confidential case evaluation. While many individuals will try to do their own research on the internet following such a possibly horrific breach of your standard of care, a phone call to the Chiozza Law Firm is all that is needed to determine your legal rights and options. In Tennessee the Statute of Limitations for a Plaintiff is extremely short and you could lose your right to a claim if your concerns are not immediately addressed. Again, feel free to contact us at 901-526-9494 or scroll to the contact section to receive immediate attention.

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