It has recently been discovered that an overwhelming amount of surgical tools have been left inside of patients. Since 2005, a total of 800 patients have been left with tools still inside of them due to surgical errors. As a result, many patients have had to endure longer hospital stays in New York, and some situations have proved to be fatal.
Some of the most common surgeries, that result in an object being left inside of a patient, are emergency surgeries and invasive procedures. The se incidents have also occurred after a woman has given birth. When an object is left inside of someone, it can cause a significant amount of physical harm, and even death. Since 2005, 16 patients have died as a result of an object being left behind.
It was reported that one woman found out four years later that a sponge was left in her abdomen, following a procedure. It was discovered when she became extremely sick and went to the hospital for a CT scan. The cause for these occurrences are largely due to non-compliance of current procedures and inadequate training of staff members.
The Joint Commission, a non-profit health care safety organization, recommends that all tools are counted before and after a surgery by two people, and then double verified by a surgeon. So far, a children’s hospital has adopted this type of protocol and it has decreased the amount of surgical errors by 50 percent. Objects left behind in patients have caused serious harm, and sometimes death. New York victims who have experienced injury due to a surgical error retain the right to seek monetary damages by initiating legal action against the medical facility.
Source: CBS News, Nearly 800 surgical tools left in patients since 2005: Report, Ryan Jaslow, Oct. 18, 2013