Within the last 20 years, an estimated 80,000 “never events,” or surgical errors that should not have happened during surgery, occurred in American hospitals, according to Johns Hopkins.
One common example of a surgical error is when a doctor leaves a foreign object, such as a surgical instrument, inside the patient.
It is estimated that 4,500 and 6,000 adverse events involving retained foreign parts occur each year, according to USA Today.
Common retained surgical items include gauze, clamps, tweezers, retractors, needles, scopes, forceps, tubes and ties.
Surgical complications involving a retained surgical item can be deadly. If not removed right away, these foreign objects can cause pain, infection and injury to other organs if left inside the body.
Hospitals should be held accountable when a patient is harmed due to a surgical error. Patients injured by foreign objects left inside the body during surgery may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If this happened to you or a loved one, contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer to find out if you qualify for compensation.