Medical Malpractice: Retained Surgical Items (RSI)
While it’s true that surgery is a life-saving medical advancement that has noticeably increased longevity and quality of life, it is undoubtedly not an error-proof procedure. Most of the time, doctors and nurses do an exceptional job providing patient care, but mistakes happen, and it can be a disruptive, painful, and even life-threatening experience for the patient – no one deserves that.
Many different surgical errors are possible, but when the outcome results in a retained surgical item (RSI), it can be especially devastating. This particular surgical complication ranges from an annoying inconvenience to a potentially fatal mistake, but no matter the severity, it means wasted time and money for you. Therefore, if you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s time to do something about it.
Let’s look at what a retained object surgical error is as well as some examples. Then we’ll consider whether these surgical mistakes are regarded as medical malpractice and discuss your options. We’re always available if you need help from a medical malpractice lawyer in Kansas City.
Retained Object Surgical Errors
When it comes to surgical errors, retained objects are among the most common. This is when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional leaves something in your body following surgery and closes you up with the object inside. For obvious reasons, this is dangerous. Risks include:
- Obstructions of bodily pathways or functions
- Perforation of parts of the body
- Infection and abscesses
Once the retained object is discovered, you’ll need to be re-admitted to the hospital for surgery to remove it. This comes with all the same chances for difficulty as the first (anesthesia problems, recovery complications, risk of infection, etc.), and if the retained object caused serious harm before it was removed, it might have compromised your long-term health.
The chances of a negative outcome with a retained object aren’t small. Statistics show that in more than 14 percent of cases, the patient suffered “severe temporary harm,” while in almost 70 percent of cases, the problem required “additional care or an extended stay.” That’s not okay.
Types of Retained Objects
Because surgeries cover so many different areas of the body and have so many different purposes, it is impossible to list every potential object here. However, you should know that incidents of RSI can occur in all major surgeries where medical teams are operating inside your body – from coronary bypasses to C-sections to neurosurgery. Common objects include:
- Surgical equipment
Is It Medical Malpractice?
If you or someone you love has suffered from retained object trauma or injury, it’s important to know your options, starting with determining whether or not it’s medical malpractice. While malpractice is both a deep and broad subject, the bottom line usually comes down to whether or not the issue could have been prevented had the medical professional in question done their job correctly.
For instance, checking to make sure no one has left behind a surgical sponge before suturing closed a wound is a basic step that any medical professional should take in surgery. A retained sponge would, therefore, most likely qualify for malpractice. This is especially true if, after reviewing the facts, your lawyer determines that surgical teams didn’t follow the proper procedures in counting objects before finishing the surgery. Again, though, there are many factors to consider when trying to prove malpractice. Your best bet is to meet with an experienced legal team to discuss your options.
What Are Your Options?
If you’ve been the victim of surgical errors, retained objects, or otherwise, it’s time to get the help you need. There’s no reason to suffer without compensation any longer. You deserve compensation if you lost time or money, were unable to return to work, suffered pain, or had to face additional life-threatening surgeries to fix the mistake.
Here at The Nail Law Firm, we routinely help people just like you navigate the legal landscape and represent your rights. It’s nearly impossible to do it alone, but with our help, you’ll enjoy much greater peace of mind and chances of success.
Ready for help from the best medical malpractice attorneys in Kansas City? Contact The Nail Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation so we can get your case settled or tried as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.