Instances in which foreign objects are left inside patients after a surgical procedure are far from being on the decline. In fact, you may even personally know someone who has been affected by such an event. If you don't, a loved one likely knows a person who has had this happen to him or her.
There are some instances in which doctors intentionally leave either plates or screws in a patient's body. In these cases, they're purposefully left there to help a broken bone fuse back together or to keep a medical device or rod in place.
While instances such as this may affect a patient's health over time, these types of objects left behind aren't believed to pose as much of a risk to the patient's health that other foreign objects do, such as gauze, scalpels, surgical sponges and cameras.
The World Health Organization notes that doctors need only to use the basic math skill of counting to avoid leaving objects inside of a patient's body.
Some of the most egregious cases of foreign objects being left in a patient's body have been surgical sponges that have been mistaken for sizable tumors.
In one unbelievable case, the root of a woman's abdominal discomfort was only detected after she endured it for three years. She later had a pair of metal scissors removed from her colon. By the time that occurred, they'd been inside of her body for so long that they'd turned black and corroded.
A man working as a travel agent successfully underwent a quadruple bypass, a procedure during which a guide wire was inserted through his groin into his chest cavity. In his case, it was never removed. Despite having multiple X-rays both during and after that procedure, it was never discovered until he began experiencing complications. He ultimately lost his job in the midst of all this turmoil.
If you've suffered ill effects from a foreign object having been left in you during an operation or medical procedure, a Tucson surgical errors attorney can advise you of right to recover damages in your medical malpractice case.