New Jersey patients and others throughout the country could be vulnerable to having objects left inside of them after surgery. It is estimated that up to 6,000 patients leave a hospital with an object inside of them each year. This happens despite the fact that it is possible to prevent such an event from happening if proper precautions are in place. Needles and sponges are the two most common items that remain in a patient after a procedure.
Other items that are commonly left inside of a patient inside surgical masks, drain tips and guide wires. Forceps, scopes and tubes are also on the list of the 15 objects a surgeon is most likely to forget to remove after surgery. Objects are often left in a person because of changes made during surgery, fatigue or general human error. Heavier individuals may be more likely to be a victim of this type of mistake.
There are many signs that an object has been left inside of a patient. For instance, an individual may have a fever, pain or an infection. It may be necessary to have another surgery to remove the object. While individuals may not always know that they have a foreign object in their bodies, their presence could lead to people dying.
An object being left inside of a patient is an example of medical malpractice. A person may be entitled to damages for medical bills incurred or lost wages related to the error. If a person dies because of a medical professional's error, it may be possible for a family member to pursue a wrongful death suit. Malpractice cases may be resolved through a lawsuit or a settlement, and an attorney may help in either scenario.