It may seem unthinkable that a qualified, experienced physician would fail to remove an eight-inch long pair of forceps from a patient after performing surgery. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a patient who was admitted to Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, California to have a benign abdominal tumor removed. After experiencing severe pain in her back, abdomen, and kidney following the surgery, she went to the emergency room at Banner Lassen Medical Center where doctors discovered the forceps still inside her. As a result, she had to have 18 inches of her small intestines removed because it had looped through the handle of the instrument. The patient has since filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor involved in the surgery.
The doctor named in the lawsuit was involved in the initial surgery, as well as the follow up procedure needed to remove the surgical instrument. Fortunately, the patient seems to be recovering from the ordeal, although the severe pain she experienced because of the medical error caused her to miss additional work. The lawsuit seeks compensation for medical and incidental expenses, loss of past and future earnings, as well as loss of consortium. The CEO of the hospital and the doctor responsible for the surgery have yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Avoidable Medical Mistake
According to a Stanford Law School professor who studies medical malpractice cases, while these types of mistakes do not represent a large percentage of malpractice claims, this is not the first time a foreign object has been left inside a patient after surgery. While there are a wide range of studies that estimate how often this type of surgical mistake is made, one study from the New England Journal of Medicine reports that of the roughly 28.4 million inpatient surgeries performed in the United States each year, there were 1,500 reported cases wherein a medical professional failed to remove an object from the patient before completing the surgery.
While doctors are human and capable of making mistakes, leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient is a careless error that should never happen. In addition, it is a mistake that can cause unnecessary pain and discomfort, additional time out of work, and several potentially serious health concerns, particularly if the issue goes untreated. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can discuss your case and recommend the best legal course of action.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Medical Negligence
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious medical error which compromised your health and safety, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. When a physician makes a medical mistake that is completely avoidable, like forgetting to remove a surgical instrument, it is an act of negligence. Our dedicated legal team will conduct a thorough investigation and determine who is responsible for the mistake. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.