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Surgical Nightmare

By Grant Law Office on February 15, 2013

Sometimes surgeons accidentally leave items inside a patient’s body – a sponge, for example. However, a recent case filed by the family of a man in Germany revealed 16 different items had been left inside his body in 2009, during routine surgery for prostate cancer.

According to the Mail Online Dirk Schroeder, age 74, suffered a lot of pain after his surgery for prostate cancer in 2009. It took several months to discover the cause. Schroeder was visited by a home nurse a few months after the surgery, and she was shocked to see a gauze pad sticking out of his wound. Surgeons in two additional procedures found many items, including a 6 inch long compress, swabs, a needle, a piece of a surgical mask, and a 6 inch roll of bandage.

He endured two more surgeries to remove all 16 items.

The hospital claims they didn’t do anything wrong, and the items entered Schroeder’s body after the surgery.

The family has now filed suit against the clinic. Attorney Annette Corinth commented that “Such an extent of foreign objects left inside the patient is unique in medical literature.”

“There has been gross negligence here which most probably led to complications and possibly a quicker death,” she also added.

According to the National Institutes of Health article Retained Surgical Items and Minimally Invasive Surgery, when items are left inside a patient it’s a reportable offense:

“In the US and the UK, unintended retention of a surgical item in a patient after surgery is a reportable event [1, 2]. Retained surgical item (RSI) is now the preferred term (rather than retained foreign body or object) because foreign bodies can be any object found or left in a patient, e.g., bullets, coins, bottles, and shrapnel [3]. RSI refers specifically to the surgical material (tools, supplies, and equipment) that is used by surgical providers to heal, but when inadvertently left in patients, can cause harm [4]. An RSI is a surgical patient safety problem [5].”

If you have been through a medical procedure that turned into a nightmare due to an RSI, please remember that you do have rights. The experienced surgical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant P.C. know how to pursue compensation from at-fault parties. Please contact us at (404) 995-3955.

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