Objects Left Behind from Surgery

North Carolina Surgical Malpractice Attorneys

A typical surgery may require numerous gauze sponges, surgical clamps and other instruments. Illness or injury may result when any of these items is accidentally left inside the patient when the incision is closed. In a hospital with established protocols to account for surgical equipment, it should never happen.

The Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd represents clients who have suffered serious injury from foreign objects left in the incision after surgery. Some patients experience symptoms soon after, especially if the object irritates adjacent tissues or migrates within the body cavity. Other patients may not notice symptoms for several weeks or even a few months. We trace the negligence that led to objects left behind and connect the error to the injury or death.

If a foreign object caused injury or required invasive surgery to retrieve it, you may have a lawsuit for damages. Contact our Fayetteville medical malpractice lawyers for a free case evaluation. We represent clients throughout North Carolina and in surrounding states.

Retained Foreign Objects: A Serious Matter

Attorney Wade Byrd brings 25 years of experience and a record of significant recoveries in medical negligence litigation to the table. He has handled cases involving foreign objects forgotten inside patients, which can cause permanent or life-threatening harm:

  • Post-operative infection (sepsis)
  • Perforation of bowels or damage to other organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Sharp pains or chronic pain
  • Injury or infection from the follow-up surgery to retrieve objects

Operating Room Negligence

Most hospitals have a system of checks to prevent retaining of foreign objects. First, every sponge and instrument should be counted prior to the opening incision. At a minimum, all surgical supplies should be accounted for prior to closing the wound. Additionally, standard procedure may include a manual and visual sweep of the cavity before closing. If any sponges (the most commonly retained object), clamps or even scalpels are missing, the patient should be X-rayed or CT scanned.

The Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd uses medical experts, including surgical nurses, to examine the record and testify that retained objects are a failure of the operating room staff to following the hospital's protocols, failure of the hospital to adopt standard preventive measures, or failure of the surgeon in charge to take steps when there is a discrepancy.

Contact us online or call (910) 401-3590 for a free initial consultation. We will travel (within North Carolina) to meet seriously injured or ill clients at their home or hospital.

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