When Texas residents undergo surgery, they obviously expect the perfect outcome. They hope that at the end of the procedure, whatever physical issues that they’ve been suffering from have been taken care of. In most cases, that’s usually the case. What many people don’t realize is that mistakes are often made that have long-term consequences. One of those mistakes is when practitioners mistakenly leave sponges or other items behind in the patient’s body after surgery.
What happens when doctors leave sponges inside of patients?
The environment in the operation theater during surgery can be very hectic as doctors move to complete operations. Because of this, they sometimes leave sponges and other objects behind. In many cases, these items are never discovered. In other cases, these left-behind items cause illnesses and ailments that plague the patients for years. These items are only discovered because patients end up becoming ill or suffer internal injuries due to infections or other issues that come about as a result of a foreign object left behind in the body, leading to potential medical malpractice claims.
If you think that the number of sponges and other items left behind in patients’ bodies is relatively low, you’re in for a surprise. In the United States, there are roughly a dozen sponges and other items left behind in patients’ bodies every single day. This results in about 4500 to 6000 cases each year. About 70% of the items left behind in bodies are sponges, and the rest of the items left behind are things like surgical instruments.
Dealing with medical negligence
Leaving a foreign object inside of a patient’s body is generally regarded as a surgical error and a breach of the standard of care that health care practitioners owe to their patients. A failure to live up to that standard could give rise to a medical malpractice claim.