Retained Surgical Items

Columbus Medical Malpractice Law Firm

Among the most frightening prospects for a patient whose surgery otherwise is successful is the thought that medical personnel may have left surgical apparatus inside them. Horror stories of forceps, and even scalpels, left inside a patient are enough to make anyone cringe, but the most common items are surgical sponges. If you are a victim of malpractice in the form of a retained surgical item, it is vital that you call our Columbus medical malpractice law firm right away

“Never Events”

Medical centers tend to be less concerned with retained surgical items (RSIs) than other issues, such as post-surgical infection. Perhaps they should reconsider, for statistics show that on average 12 patients in the U.S. each day are victims of RSIs. Medicare regards these as “never events”—meaning that they simply should never occur—and since 2008 does not cover the cost of correcting the problem. Private insurance companies have followed suit. As a result, hospitalization just for an RSI often costs as much as $60,000, and must be paid by someone. Your Columbus medical malpractice lawyer will work hard to ensure that the hospital or doctors pay the bills and all the damages that the RSI caused.

The Problem with Sponges

Surgical sponges are used by the dozens during even routine surgeries. Consequently, surgical teams often lose count of how many are placed inside the patient; when the procedure is completed and it is time to sew the patient up, then, there may not be a consensus on how many sponges need to be removed.

These sponges cause very serious problems in patients, including infections that can be deadly. Because sponges adhere to organs and tissues, they can interfere with bodily functions. Assuming that a patient is treated in time, a second and involved medical procedure is necessary to repair what should never have occurred in the first place.

A Logical and Cost-Effective Solution That Is Being Largely Ignored

What is perhaps most disturbing about RSIs, specifically in relation to sponges, is that recent technology which largely solves the problem is being ignored by many medical centers. Implementing a sponge tracking system at a facility would increase the cost of the average surgery by $8 to $12. Considering the fact that the overall cost of repair, later treatment, and legal claims can put the cost of a sponge left inside a patient at nearly a quarter million dollars, it makes sense to incorporate this bit of technology.

If You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you have suffered injury because of the negligence of careless medical personnel, hospital negligence, emergency room errors, or procedures, call a Columbus medical malpractice attorney woith the resources and experience to provide you with superior legal representation. Contact Rourke and Blumenthal today to arrange a consultation.

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