Leaving Foreign Objects in the Body

Washington, D.C. Attorneys for When a Surgeon Leaves A Foreign Object in Your Body

Dedicated medical malpractice lawyers handling RSB claims

Surgical procedures require not only a team of qualified medical professionals, but also a host of tools and devices to ensure that the procedures go smoothly. In some cases, however, negligent surgical teams actually leave these tools and foreign objects inside of the patient’s body, which can lead to serious consequences. Paulson & Nace, PLLC, handles catastrophic surgical errors like these for victims throughout Washington, D.C. We understand exactly what kinds of health consequences you might face, and we know how to build winning strategies for victims of medical malpractice. If a negligent surgical team left a foreign object inside of you or a family member during a procedure, we may be able to help.

Which objects are left behind after surgery?

At Paulson & Nace, we have the necessary experience you want on your side after an act of surgical malpractice. We are proud to take on complex cases involving surgeons and staff who leave objects in the body of the patient, including:

  • Sponges
  • Surgical gauze
  • Bandages
  • Surgical tape
  • Surgical clips
  • Pieces of broken heart valves
  • Pieces of broken or defective stents
  • Surgical gloves
  • Needles

Hospitals and medical centers provide checklists to their staff and doctors to ensure that such mistakes will not occur, and require that surgical teams count how many tools or devices they are using before and after the surgery. Yet these mistakes still occur. According to research published in 2017, “The incidence of [retained surgical bodies, or RSB] is between 0.3 to 1.0 per 1,000 abdominal operations,” and the overall average is 1,500 cases a year. The most common items are “surgical sponges and instruments located in the abdomen, retroperitoneum and pelvis.” They can also get left behind during childbirth, specifically in cases of c-sections and other life-saving surgical treatments.

Why are surgical instruments left behind after a procedure?

As there is never an excuse to leave behind a surgical instrument, the primary cause of RSBs is negligence. This negligence can include:

If you or a loved one was injured because of a surgical error or act of negligence, leading to an RSB, contact us today.

Washington DC

The risks you face after a surgical error in Washington, D.C

The number one risk to patients who surgical teams have left a tool or device inside of their body after surgery is infection. Your body will attempt to fight off the “invading” object on its own – an act that can make you very sick. If the object inside of you was not 100% sterile, you could easily become infected with whatever bacteria or debris were on the object.

Patients may also suffer organ damage, internal bleeding or organ perforation, if the object inside of them moves from its spot or pushes into the organs, veins or arteries. This mistake will necessitate another surgery, which puts you at additional risk because of your body’s currently compromised state. If the object is not located and removed quickly, you or your loved one could die.

There is never an excuse for leaving a sponge or a surgical tool inside of a patient. At Paulson & Nace, we protect your rights as a victim when a healthcare provider commits an act of gross negligence such as this. We have secured millions of dollars for our medical malpractice clients in verdicts and in settlements. We champion your rights and your family’s future every step of the way.

Fighting for Washington, D.C. patients whose surgical team left a foreign object in their bodies

Paulson & Nace, PLLC, has the skills and the experience you want on your side when a surgical team commits negligence. If you or your family member was forced to endure another surgery or procedure because a foreign object was left inside of your body, please call 202-463-1999 or fill out our contact form for more information.