Fulton County Objects Left in the Body Lawyer

There are many medical tools and devices used during surgery. Some are intentionally placed in the patient’s body, while others should never be left in the surgical area.

If you believe a medical provider failed to remove all surgical items from your body after a procedure, reach out to a determined malpractice attorney as soon as possible. A Fulton County objects left in the body lawyer could help you take legal action against the responsible party.

Types of Medical Instruments That Might be Left in the Body

There are many medical instruments that can be left in the body. As mentioned above, some tools are purposely placed inside the patient. For example, pacemakers are inserted into the chest to help the patient’s heart. Rods, screws, and other fixation devices can be left in the body as part of orthopedic procedures.

Those objects are generally safe to leave in a person’s body. However, a medical error during surgery could lead to a hazardous foreign object being trapped inside the patient. Surgical tools that could cause serious harm to a patient include:

  • Sponges,
  • Clamps,
  • Scalpels,
  • Lap pads,
  • Scissors, and
  • Needles

When such objects are left behind unintentionally, they can cause significant injuries. The healthcare industry recognizes this, and such events are classified as “never events.” The National Quality Forum defines “never events” as medical errors that are clearly identifiable, preventable, and can lead to serious consequences in patients. Anyone who has discovered a foreign object in their body after surgery should seek help from a local attorney.

Common Surgical Situations Resulting in a Foreign Object Left in the Body

There are several safety procedures in place that should prevent surgeons and other medical practitioners from leaving foreign objects in patients’ bodies. For example, there should always be a person responsible for counting how many tools go in the body and how many come out. Still, medical errors persist, causing patients severe harm.

Tools are generally left inside a patient during hectic medical situations. These types of errors occur most often during emergency room procedures, particularly abdominal surgeries.

When the medical providers working on a patient are in a rush or exhausted, they are more likely to take shortcuts, leading to an object being left behind. In some cases, the medical facility is understaffed, and there is no person responsible for counting the instruments used on the patient. Regardless of the circumstances leading to a foreign object being stuck in the body, injured patients should consider discussing their legal options with a Fulton County lawyer.

How to Detect an Object Stuck in the Body

Medical tools and devices can go undetected in a person’s body for months or even years. However, some patients may experience severe pain and discomfort at the surgical site soon after the procedure. Some potential signs that a surgical object may be left in a person’s body include:

  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing,
  • Coughing up blood,
  • Constipation,
  • Difficulty urinating, and
  • Black or bloody stool.

If something does not feel right after surgery, it is important to speak with a medical professional right away.

Long-Term Consequences of Having a Foreign Object in the Body

Depending on how long the item stays in the patient’s body without being detected, it could lead to severe health issues, including infection, bowel obstruction, internal bleeding, or sepsis. These complications could lead to death. Anyone suffering from these issues could benefit from retaining a lawyer who regularly handles foreign object cases.

Collecting Evidence in a Foreign Object Case in Fulton County

Evidence is crucial in any medical malpractice claim. In cases involving an object left in the body, the foreign object itself would be the most important piece of evidence. After the item is removed from the patient’s body, a lawyer could have it sent to pathology where it can be identified, placed in a specimen jar, and preserved.

Imaging scans would also be important pieces of evidence. When a patient experiences complications after a procedure, medical providers typically do a CT scan or X-ray of the surgical area. The imaging results would show the object in the body, which can help establish the cause of the patient’s injuries.

Contact a Fulton County Objects Left in the Body Attorney Today

Leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body is one of the gravest medical errors a person can make. If you suffered harm due to this type of incident, call a Fulton County objects left in the body lawyer. Set up a free initial consultation to begin working on your case.