There are a lot of myths regarding medicine and even more generally one’s own body, such as waking up in a bathtub of ice while missing organs, surgeons performing the wrong surgery, carving names or initials into a patient’s skin, or even leaving objects inside patients. Unfortunately, only one of these is an October Halloween myth, the ice bath—the other three are true instances of New York medical malpractice!
One of the scarier instances of medical malpractice is when foreign objects are left inside of patients. This means that an object is left inside of a patient after a surgical procedure because it was forgotten, broken off, or fell in. That is right, fell in! These can easily be instances of medical malpractice by the very happening of this.
Some of the most common types of objects left inside of patients are pads, sponges, rags, and other related objects to help absorb blood or fluids at the surgical sight. Another common object left inside of a patient are clips, ties, restraints, ports, or other objects that are meant to help create a visual field.
One of the most common complications from a foreign object left inside of a patient is an infection. This could be caused by the bacteria and other pathogens on the foreign object which sits inside the body increasing the exposure time, or this could occur from an intern injury caused by the foreign object. For instance, a foreign object in the body may cause an abscess which can create holes inside of the body, decaying flesh, and lead to serious infections. Additionally, the body may automatically try to eject the foreign object; this is an amazing aspect of our bodies. However, this can result in internal injuries which cause serious pain and infections.
When a foreign object is found inside of a patient, it results in additional pain and suffering because of the object, but also because there will likely need to be another surgery to remove the object. This will cause an additional recovery time and debilitating conditions for a patient to handle.
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