Retained Surgical Items Lawsuit: Understanding, Consequences, and Legal Guidance

Surgeons often call them “lost” or “left behind” surgical items. They pose big risks to patients after surgery. Objects left inside a patient’s body are done purely by mistake and when this happens, the objects can cause severe complications, including infections, organ damage, and death. This guide covers retained surgical items lawsuits and it explores their causes and effects while also providing legal resources for people affected by these incidents.

Understanding Retained Surgical Items

Surgical items retained in a patient consist of various objects. The items are accidentally left inside a patient’s body during surgery and can include sponges, surgical instruments, needles, or other medical tools.

Consider the following statistics:

  1. The Journal of American College of Surgeons published a study estimating between 4,000 to 6,000 cases of retained surgical items occur each year in the United States.
  2. The most common item left inside a patient are sponges. They account for approximately 69% to 88% of cases.
  3. The average cost of treating a patient with a retained surgical item isn’t cheap. According to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons the cost can range from $60,000 to $200,000 per case.
  4. The mortality rate from retained surgical items range from 11% to 35%.
  5. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) found in a study that communication breakdowns are the leading cause of retained surgical items. Communications breakdowns account for approximately 65% of cases.

Causes of Retained Surgical Items

Many factors cause the retention of surgical items with the leading cause being communication breakdowns among healthcare providers. Not following set protocols and poorly trained staff are also contributing factors. And, because the surgeries are complex, understanding these root causes is crucial. They are key to improving patient care while preventing the risks of retained surgical items.

Consequences of Retained Surgical Items

Retained surgical items can have devastating consequences ranging from local infections to life-threatening issues. It is not uncommon for organ damage and sepsis to occur. In addition, patients may have prolonged pain, discomfort, and emotional distress as they don’t know why they aren’t feeling well. Identifying and fixing the patient’s problem is essential to stop further harm.

Legal Ramifications and Patient Rights

Patients affected by retained surgical items may sue for malpractice and can do so through medical malpractice lawsuits. The legal actions seek to hold healthcare providers accountable if they were negligent or failed to meet the standard of care. People may seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. Understanding patient rights and legal options empowers individuals to seek justice and get rightful compensation for their injuries.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Navigating a retained surgical items lawsuit requires specialized legal expertise and resources. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney because they know about medical malpractice cases and can evaluate your claim appropriately. Attorneys can give personalized guidance, advocate for your rights and help with the legal process. This ensures the best outcome for your case while giving you peace of mind.

Valuable Legal Resources

People seeking legal help with retained surgical items lawsuits can rely on groups like the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA provides lots of information on malpractice laws as well as your legal rights. They can assist you to find attorneys specializing in healthcare lawsuits. Access to trusted sources such as the ABA gives people the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complex legal proceedings.

Take Action With a Retained Surgical Item Lawsuit in Chattanooga

If you or a loved one has been harmed by retained surgical items you must act to protect your rights.

  • Get medical help for symptoms or complications immediately.
  • Keep records and expenses.
  • Talk to a trusted attorney to learn about your legal options.
  • Remember, you are not alone in this journey.
  • You can get legal support to help you seek accountability and payment for your injuries.

For more information and assistance with retained surgical items lawsuits, visit [The American Bar Association](

This content is for information only. It is not legal advice. Consult with a qualified medical malpractice attorney for personalized legal guidance.

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