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Foreign Objects Left After Surgeries Causing Patient Problems

Recent research data show that thousands of patients leave hospital operating rooms each year with foreign objects left inside their bodies. Instruments and other hardware are often left behind, but the retained foreign objects which cause the most problems are sponges and gauze made out of cotton and other fabrics.

Such retained objects may be without symptoms for months or years after the surgery, but when problems do arise, they cause long term pain, fevers, infections, digestive and other problems that last for years or for life and are sometimes fatal. Patients are often re-hospitalized for exploratory surgery or other procedures as medical personnel search for the cause of the debilitating conditions.

Many times making a diagnosis is difficult because such objects are not readily apparent on x-rays, so the patients are often left to suffer for years. The costs are enormous, and Medicare will not pay for correction of medical mistakes.

Unfortunately, only about 15% of hospitals use widely available technologies to prevent these problems even though sponge tracking systems cost only about $10 per surgical procedure. The hospitals claim it is matter of priorities, but that shortsighted attitude costs patients and creates a fertile field for malpractice suits and large verdicts.

If you, a family member, or friend suffers a botched surgical procedure or never fully recovers from surgery, perhaps a foreign object was left inside. Contact us right away for further information, as statutes of limitations bar claims if filed too late.

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