Did you know that about 300 surgical tools are used during a typical surgery? A larger surgery, meanwhile, requires twice as many – 600 – surgical tools.
The use of so many tools increases the chance of the surgeon or his/her assistants leaving instruments in their patients’ bodies.
But is leaving instruments inside patients considered medical malpractice? This is the question we asked our medical malpractice attorney Howard Kornberg, who has an unparalleled track record in holding medical professionals in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California accountable for their medical mistakes and surgical errors.
Fact: in between 1 in 100 to 1 in 5000 cases, surgeons leave tools inside patients, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Fact #2: other studies estimate that leaving instruments or sponges inside patient bodies happens in more than 12% of surgeries.
What are the consequences of a retained surgical item?
What is known in medical terms as a “retained surgical item” – or leaving behind surgical tools or sponges, in plain English – is considered medical malpractice in Los Angeles and is a major surgical error that can cost patients their lives.
The consequences of leaving instruments inside patients can be serious and life-threatening. While in many cases, patients can feel discomfort in the body parts that reject the foreign object after a surgical procedure within hours; in other cases, it can take patients weeks or even months to notice that something is wrong.
Given the rather serious harm and consequences of retained surgical items, medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from these surgical errors can bring victims a sizeable compensation for their damages, losses, pain, and suffering.
Not to mention that leaving instruments inside patients may cause severe complications, infection and other long-term health harm.
Proving and establishing damages caused by retained surgical tools can be quite challenging given that it can take patients months to discover the foreign object in their body.
That’s why it’s highly advised to seek the legal help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, who would be able to present medical evidence in a way that would resonate with judges and juries, maximizing your financial compensation.
How much do such medical malpractice cases cost?
Fact: the costs of dealing with the consequences of and removing a retained surgical item can reach more than $60,000, according to Medicare.
In fact, Medicare denies payment for costs stemming from medical malpractice cases such as leaving instruments inside patients. Your insurance company will also most likely refuse to cover your damages.
That’s why hiring an attorney to establish the full value of your damages, losses and injuries is your best option to maximize your financial gains in a settlement or court verdict.
Fact #2: medical malpractice lawsuits relating to retained surgical items costs hospitals between $100,000 and $200,000 on average.
Interestingly, surgeons leave surgical items inside patients in up to 6,000 cases per year, which is quite disturbing.
Here at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, our medical malpractice attorneys in Los Angeles and all across California have investigated and handled more than 90 cases of retained surgical items, helping victims obtain six- and seven-figure monetary compensation for their injuries, damages, pain and suffering.
Do you believe that a surgeon left an instrument inside your body? Consult our attorneys immediately to know your best legal options. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 or complete this contact form to get a free initial consultation.