Medical Malpractice and the Harm Caused by Foreign Objects Left Inside a Person After Surgery

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

When a medical professional has treated a patient and failed to provide the standard of care as required by the medical community, the medical professional is said to have committed medical malpractice.  The medical provider is said to have breached his/her duty to the patient.  If this breach was the proximate cause of the patient’s injuries, and the patient can articulate cognizable damages, a court of law has the opportunity to compensate the injured patient. 

An experience Kingston medical malpractice attorney is skilled in general medical negligence as well as subsets of medical malpractice.  One unique subset of medical malpractice can be referred to as foreign object malpractice.

A foreign object is typically something left inside a patient’s body during surgery that wasn’t supposed to be left behind.  Therefore, even though the components of hip replacements are not naturally found in the body, they are not “foreign objects”.  This is because those items were meant to be left inside the patient as such was the point of conducting the procedure.  So anything intended to be left inside a person during surgery is not “foreign” but anything unintentionally left inside a surgical patient is a foreign object. 

Gauze pads, syringes, gloves, clamps, scalpels, and any other number of items are known to have been mistakenly left inside a patient’s body.  When this happens, patients may experience extreme pain.  Infection can persist until the object is removed, and of course removing the object means that the patient has to undergo surgery again. 

The second surgery, however, was not something that the patient had originally wanted or expected.  The patient has to needlessly face surgery and all of the complications that go along with any surgical procedure.  Moreover, more time was spent suffering in pain.  More time was lost from work and from enjoying life with loved ones. 

Complicating the matter is that sometimes the patient will not discover, or have reason to discover, the foreign object for many years after the original surgery was performed.   This is why the statute of limitations in foreign object cases is different than traditional medical malpractice.

2 ½ years is the traditional period in which a victim of medical malpractice has to commence a suit.  However, experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that in foreign object cases the statute of limitation does not begin to run until after the object has been detected, or should have been detected. 

The patient has one year starting from the moment the object is detected, or facts arose that should have led to detection to commence suit.  Therefore, if it was five years until detection, the patient has an additional year to commence suit, making the limitations period in this example six years. 

If you have been the victim of foreign object medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney right away so that your chances of recovery are optimized. 

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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