Surgical Errors: Painful, Costly Mistakes

The numbers are startling: about 2,000 patients from Louisiana to Maine and from Florida to California — and everywhere in between — have surgical materials left behind in their bodies after an operation resulting in a medical malpractice.

The items left behind can include gauze and needles, but the most common surgical material left behind are sponges, a recent study of medical malpractice data shows.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study showed that surgeons leave sponges and other items inside their patients about 39 times per week. Researchers looked at data from medical malpractice judgments and settlements between patients and hospitals involving preventable medical errors.

The data spanned two decades, beginning in 1990, and involving more than 4,800 malpractice cases items left behind in surgeries.

Of course, some observers note that considering the numbers of operations in the United States each year, those several thousands of left-behind items means that the occurrences are rare.

But to those who suffer after a doctor and surgical team leaves a sponge or instrument behind, the rarity of the misfortune isn’t unlikely to be comforting. Those people are invariably going to have to endure another operation; one occurring solely because of a preventable error. Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Orleans

Surgical teams typically count the instruments, sponges and other items used in operations, but some medical safety experts say procedures clearly need to be improved.

One possible solution: putting bar codes on all items used in a surgery. Those codes are then scanned before and after the operation; if any code isn’t scanned in, the team will know a sponge or something else is missing.

If You Find a Surgical Instrument Retained Inside Your Body After Surgery, Our Louisiana Attorneys Can Help

If you or someone you love is dealing with complications associated with a retained surgical instrument, get in touch with our attorneys right away.

Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers have experience in:

  • Birth Injuries
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Prescription Errors
  • Anesthesiologist Errors
  • Delayed Or Prolonged Surgery
  • Doctor Error
  • Failure To Diagnose
  • And much more

Call us at (504) 488-3722 or fill out our online form to receive a free consultation.