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Ohio surgeon mistakes: Leaving foreign objects in patient bodies

If you’re like most Ohio residents, at some point in your life, you’ve probably experienced a stomach ache. Perhaps you became bloated and were unsure what was causing your discomfort. Was it something you ate, or did you have an underlying health condition that was presenting adverse symptoms?

One of the last things you might expect to find regarding causes of stomach pain is a retained surgical object, forgotten inside your body. Sadly, this is one of the most common surgical errors in Ohio hospitals and others throughout the nation. You may have had surgery months (or more than a year) ago. However, if you have unexplained tummy discomfort, the two issues might be related.

Facts you should know

There is an accepted set of safety standards involved when a surgeon performs an operation. When you have surgery, you have an entire medical team providing care. Each person’s duties are important to the overall success of your operation. The following information provides facts you should know if you suspect that your current adverse health condition is connected to a past surgery:

  • Surgical sponges are the foreign objects most often left inside patient bodies.
  • Retained surgical bodies, otherwise known as RSB, can prompt life-threatening situations.
  • You will have to undergo additional surgery to remove RSB from your body.
  • The abdomen and pelvic regions are the parts of the body most often involved in RSB incidents.
  • In addition to sponges, surgical instruments and gauze are other items often found inside of patients, left there by negligent doctors and nurses.
  • There is a safety procedure in place in every hospital for removing surgical objects from patients before closing surgical wounds. Deviating from such procedures may constitute medical malpractice if an error occurs and a patient suffers injury.
  • Approximately 1,500 people suffer from RSB every year in the United States.
  • If you experience pain or discomfort days, weeks, months or several years after surgery, your situation definitely warrants immediate medical examination. Symptoms of RSB include bloating, feeling a palpable mass, pain or signs of infections, such as fever.

While it would be out of the ordinary for a surgeon to place a sponge inside your body during surgery, especially if you were bleeding heavily, your medical team is under obligation to safely close your surgical wounds and be certain that no foreign objects remain inside your body at the time.

Reporting your injury

You can’t undo what’s already done, but there may be something you can do to prevent an RSB injury from happening to others in the future. When reporting your injury to the appropriate medical officials, you can request an investigation. Many Ohio surgical injury victims pursue litigation to seek legal accountability against any and all parties responsible for their suffering.