• Forceps Left in Patient After Medical Procedure
  • February 2, 2018
  • Patients undergo surgical procedures to correct medical issues ranging from minor discomfort to severe conditions. Unfortunately, there are instances when a surgical error occurs resulting in major consequences for patients.

    In some cases, a mistake during surgery can leave a patient in a worse condition than before their procedure and may even put their life in jeopardy. This was the case for a woman in California, who lost part of her small intestine after a pair of eight-inch surgical forceps was left in her abdomen after surgery.

    Surgical Mistake
    The patient, a 52-year-old resident of Susanville, went to Shasta Regional Medical Center for an exploratory laparotomy to remove a benign tumor from her abdomen. The surgery was completed, and the patient was discharged on April 19, 2017. Less than two weeks later, she experienced severe pain in her back, kidney, and abdomen. She went to the emergency room at Banner Lassen Medical Center on May 1, where they discovered the forceps used by the doctor during her previous surgery still inside her.

    Removing the forceps turned out to be more complicated than expected. The patient’s small intestine got caught in the handle of the forceps, so surgeons had to remove an 18-inch section of her intestine to get the forceps out. She is still in recovery and will likely require additional care to manage complications.

    Negligence
    The patient filed a lawsuit against Shasta Regional Medical Center and a Redding physician who was involved in both surgeries, alleging medical negligence. The plaintiff is pursuing damages to cover medical and incidental expenses, lost wages, and damages for the emotional impact on her husband. As of early January, 2018, the suit was being settled, although no amount has been made public.

    Sadly, surgical instruments and other materials occasionally get left in patients during surgical procedures. Estimates vary widely as to how often instances like this occur, but a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that out of approximately 2.84 million inpatient surgeries performed each year in the United States, 1,500 patients have a foreign object left in them after surgery. These complications, though rare, can be life-threatening and may require extensive follow-up care for patients who suffer from them.

    New Jersey Surgical Error Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Fight for Victims of Surgical Errors
    If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a surgical erro, contact our New Jersey surgical error lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. Call 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are centrally located in in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey and we represent clients throughout the state.