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Can I Sue for Foreign Objects Left Behind During Surgery?

Mar 6, 2020 Brown Moore & Associates

Medical mistakes can be incredibly costly for victims, and they can have long-lasting effects on a person’s health. In many cases, a medical error is related to surgery, particularly objects being left behind in a patient after a procedure is finished. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, our Charlotte foreign object surgery attorneys want to discuss how these incidents occur and steps you can take if this has happened to you.

This is considered a surgical “never event”

Medical mistakes occur at alarming rates in the United States. Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that as many as 250,000 people are killed each year due to medical errors and that millions more are injured and survive these mistakes. Some of the scariest mistakes that can occur happened during surgery. Due to the nature of the surgery itself, any mistake can lead to detrimental health effects or death for victims.

When a foreign object gets left behind and somebody after surgery is complete, this is considered a “never event.” Aptly named, never events are things that should absolutely not occur during surgery. Unfortunately, the following objects can be left behind inside of a person during a surgery:

  • Sponges
  • Towels
  • Scalpels
  • Tweezers
  • Clamps

When an object is left behind in a person during surgery, this is most certainly going to be a case of medical malpractice. In these cases, somebody messed up. This could be the surgeon, the nurses involved in the case, or any other member of the medical team that was present inside the operating room.

Medical malpractice statute of limitations in North Carolina

There are time limits in place in which a person must file a medical malpractice claim. In North Carolina, there is generally a three-year time frame from the date an injury occurs to the time a person has to file a medical malpractice claim. However, in cases where an injury is not apparent right away, the claim must be filed within one year from when the injury was or should have been discovered. However, no claim in these cases can be made more than four years after the date of the injury.

There are exceptions made for foreign objects left in the body by surgeons or hospital staff. In these cases, a patient must file a claim within one year from discovering that the object was left behind. No claim may be filed after 10 years from the date that the object was left in a person’s body.

We will work to secure the compensation you need

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury or illness due to a surgical error, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The team at Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC is ready to investigate your claim and work to secure the compensation you are entitled to, which can include:

  • Coverage of all medical expenses related to the surgical mistake
  • The cost of surgery to remove the object that was left behind
  • Recovery of lost income if you are unable to work
  • Pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Possible punitive damages against the responsible surgeon or surgical team

When you need a Charlotte foreign object surgery attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 800-948-0577.