Hospital patients throughout Florida rely on the knowledge, skills and proficient care of medical staff as they undergo various types of treatments and surgeries. In many states, a problem involving medical malpractice through retained surgical items has been noted. A recent article offered updated details and explanations with regard to this serious issue.
Data indicates that there are as many as 4000 reported incidents in the United States of patients suffering from surgical items mistakenly left inside their bodies after surgeries each year. According to reports, there are frequent occurrences of the problem in some hospitals, while others have a pristine record. Recent directives were issued to specifically define the exact time period officially considered to be post-operative, stating that a surgical item is not considered retained until the patient has been removed from the operating room.
Statistics list cotton gauze and surgical sponges as the items most frequently retained accidentally inside the body of a patient after surgery. Needles, guide wires and broken pieces of surgical instruments are also items which have been listed in incidents involving RSI. An Institute of Medicine report suggested that stricter policies regarding perioperative care would most likely lead to a reduction in RSI cases.
Common sense suggests that there are numerous potential illnesses, injuries, infections and/or adverse effects that might be suffered by a patient who has a surgical item mistakenly left inside his or her body. Florida residents who have experienced similar circumstances have the right to file personal injury claims in civil court. Legal professionals are available who have experience in medical malpractice cases. The potential for undue financial stress as a result of the cost of care that might be needed following RSI could possibly be alleviated by compensation awarded in a successfully litigated case.
Source: nothingleftbehind.org, “Retained Surgical Items“, Accessed on March 24, 2015