Foreign Objects Left Inside Patients

When treating patients, medical professionals must have the proper knowledge, skill, and judgment to diagnose and treat the patient with reasonable care.  The degree of care that should be used will depend upon the circumstances.  But in general, an offending doctor’s actions will be judged in comparison to that of another reasonable medical professional. 

This is qualified by locality, however.  This means that standards of care will vary from place to place because different geographic regions have differing resources that affect how patients are treated.

In short, there is a range within which accepted treatment must fall.  Practicing medicine outside of this range can amount to medical malpractice if a patient is injured by the deviation and that injury led the victim to suffer damages. 

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys practicing law in New York’s Hudson Valley region handle many different and discrete areas of medical malpractice litigation.  One type of medical malpractice sub-specialty is foreign object litigation.

A foreign object is a term of art that refers to something specific.  It is not any object unnatural or foreign to the human body.  Hip replacements, pace makers, screws, pins, rods, etc. are not foreign objects within the meaning of medical malpractice law. 

A foreign object as it relates to medical malpractice is an object that is unintentionally left inside of a patient.  The objects listed above are not “foreign” because they were intentionally placed inside the patient as part of the cure. 

Examples of foreign objects that have been left inside patients’ bodies are surgical sponges, clamps, scalpels, needles, surgical gloves, clamps, forceps, and tool fragments. 

Obviously any sharp foreign object left in a patient can lead to organ perforation.  Such will cause additional and excessive bleeding and can even lead to sepsis.  Other foreign objects can lead to infection.  In any event, the patient will suffer additional pain.  Of course, the patient will be forced to undergo additional surgeries to repair the damage. 

Sadly, the patients’ pain and suffering would not have happened if the offending doctor was not negligent.  These types of medical errors are entirely preventable.  Often times the foreign object is not found for years after it was left inside the patient.

When a medical professional has left a foreign object inside a patient’s body, he or she has committed an act of negligence.  This is medical malpractice for which the law provides a remedy. 

Proving that the foreign object was left inside the patient is the easier part of this type of medical malpractice law suit.  The experienced medical malpractice attorney will also have to prove that such was the cause of the victim’s injury.  Proof of damages will also have to be brought before a jury. 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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