A surgeon left something in me during a surgery do I have a claim?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Alma, MI

About a 1 1/2 ago I had a emergency Appendectomy to remove my inflamed appendix. Cut to two days ago I had some x-rays for a none related back injury. While taking the x-rays the tech started asking me some weird questions, about if I have had surgery before. Needless to say their is a small hooked shaped object just below the area that was cut open for the scopes during my surgery. This object is the exact size and shape of a surgical suture needle. I haven't had a chance to talk to my primary doctor about it yet, but I believe that the surgeon I had left this in me while he was sewing me up. I am worried that this could cause serious problems. Do I have a case to go after not only the doctor but the hospital too?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . When a doctor leaves any type of surgical instrument in you, this is malpractice. First step is to see a doctor and see if it needs to be removed, second step is to have a local malpractice lawyer evaluate whether it is economical to pursue.

    The answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only.

    Lassen Law Firm
    1515 Market St #1510
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    215-510-6755
    http://www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

    Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Christopher Lee Phillips

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If a surgeon or surgical nurse fails to remove a surgical instrument or object at the end of a procedure, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. A retained foreign object can cause serious complications, including life-threatening infections. Damage to tissues, nerves, blood vessels and organs may also occur. Additional surgery, hospitalization, medical expenses, and a lengthy recuperation period are additional consequences that patients must deal with. If a surgeon or surgical nurse fails to remove a surgical instrument or object at the end of a procedure, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. A retained foreign object can cause serious complications, including life-threatening infections. Damage to tissues, nerves, blood vessels and organs may also occur. Additional surgery, hospitalization, medical expenses, and a lengthy recuperation period are additional consequences that patients must deal with.

    Surgical instruments that may be left in the patient's body after a surgery include things such as the needle in your case. Hospitals should have a system of checks in place in order to prevent the retaining of foreign objects. Every sponge and instrument required for the procedure should be counted prior to opening the incision, and all supplies should be accounted for prior to closing the wound. Any member of the surgical team who has committed malpractice, including doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, may be found liable if it is discovered that a foreign object was left inside a patient after surgery.

    Some patients may experience symptoms related to the retained foreign object soon after the surgery, particularly if the object irritates adjacent tissues or migrates within the body cavity. However, in other cases, patients may not become aware of any issues for several weeks or months after the surgery. An x-ray, MRI or other test may be required to locate the object. For this reason, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is extended for cases involving a retained foreign object in many states. This is known as the "discovery rule." In essence, the statute of limitations begins from the time you knew or reasonably should have known that there was an issue. It certainly sounds like you are the victim of a retained foreign body after a surgery. Accordingly, I would recommend that you consult with a local malpractice attorney ASAP (given the timeframe) who can advise you about the statute of in your state and your right to claim compensation.

  3. Ezra N. Goldman

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Every negligence case has two aspects -- the negligence aspect and the damages aspect. If someone hits your car from behind, he is negligent but if no one gets hurt, the case is worth nothing. Everyone has told you that may well be malpractice but no one has asked what your damages are. Does the particle hurt? Is your body reacting to it? Or can you go the rest of your life leaving it as it is with no harm? Of course it is terrible that you have something in you but a lawyer will have to think your case is worth tens of thousands of dollars, your case may never get off the ground.

  4. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to see if it has to be removed but you also need to talk to a local medical malpractice attorney ASAP to discuss your options because I think Michigan’s statute of limitations is 2 years.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

25,736 answers this week

2,760 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

25,736 answers this week

2,760 attorneys answering