Retained foreign bodies: Common surgical error in Georgia

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2018 | Medical Malpractice |

Having any type of moderate to serious surgery is never like a walk in the park. If you undergo surgery, you may have a lot of pain and discomfort for a few days or weeks afterward, depending on the type of operation and other current health details. It’s a fact that the skill level and diligence of your surgeon may have a lot to do with how successful your surgery is.

Sadly, medical malpractice is problematic in Georgia and many other states. To entrust your health to a licensed medical professional only to wind up in worse condition because he or she was negligent is tragic. It’s also frustrating because many negligence injuries may be entirely preventable. Surgical errors rank high on lists regarding medical negligence that places patients at risk for injury.

Retained foreign bodies are one of the most common errors

When you undergo surgery, you undoubtedly and rightfully expect your medical team to act in accordance with the highest level of accepted safety standards. The following list shows that surgeons can commit errors, including leaving things inside the bodies of patients that don’t belong:

  • Retained Surgical Foreign Bodies (RSB) can lead to serious infection and other health complications.
  • One of the most frequently forgotten items inside surgical patients is the surgical sponge.
  • If you started bleeding heavily during your operation, your surgeon would likely use sponges to help rectify the situation.
  • As a patient, you can reasonably expect your surgeon to remove those sponges from your body before closing your surgical wounds.
  • The abdominal cavity and pelvic regions are two of the most common body areas where RSB errors frequently occur.
  • Leaving sponges inside a body can result in severe inflammation, tumors and bowel obstruction.
  • Infection can lead to sepsis, which is potentially fatal. The problem with diagnosing RSB is that patients often don’t present symptoms right away. If they do, they believe they are experiencing post-operative discomfort, typical for the types of surgery they had.

Post-operative tummy aches

How do you tell if your stomach discomfort is typical during recovery for the surgery you had? Unless you go back to the hospital and have an x-ray, it’s hard to determine.

It is usually through CT scans, MRIs or other such tests that RSB reveals itself. If you determine that a medical staff member’s negligence caused your injury, you can seek justice through the civil litigation system.


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