Many surgical procedures are routine and have high recovery rates. Other surgical procedures carry a degree of danger for the patient and require many doctors and nurses. Whether a patient is undergoing a routine or a very risky surgical procedure, mistakes can be made that lead to medical malpractice claims.

Human error causes most problems

Humans make errors, and medical professionals are human. Unfortunately, when they make mistakes during surgical procedures, the results could become life-threatening. An item left behind, like a sponge, needle, clamp or other device used during the surgical procedure, could cause sepsis or other health problems. When items are found, negligence is what made it possible for them to get left behind.

Surgical teams are supposed to track all items used and ensure that everything is safely removed before wrapping up the procedure. When a miscount or other problem causes something to be overlooked, it might wind up inside the surgical wound and cause problems later. Medical malpractice lawsuits could arise when the patient feels pain or experiences infection or ongoing issues instead of healing properly. A subsequent examination might surgical items left behind.

Sponges and needles are missed most often

The two items that most often wind up left behind are sponges used to absorb blood and other fluids as well as needles used to close surgical wounds. Doctors and nurses are supposed to carefully inventory every item that they use to ensure that nothing is left behind, but many doctors let an assistant finish the surgical procedure after the main work has been done. Such a simple change easily can lead to mistakes and forgotten items left inside a patient.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney may be a good asset to have when medical doctors and other licensed professionals make mistakes and leave items inside surgical wounds. The attorney may help an injured patient pursue compensation for their medical costs and non-economic damages.