According to USA Today, more than a dozen times a day, doctors sew up patients with sponges and other supplies mistakenly left inside. The mistake costs some victims their lives.
Our Michigan surgery malpractice lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. are experts at handling malpractice lawsuits against hospitals and surgeons involving surgical sponges that are left in patients after a surgery. These mistakes can result in substantial lasting injuries to the patient and cause the need for additional surgeries.
The Story of Erica Parks
Erica Parks, who had a cesarean section performed at Alabama hospital, knew something wasn't right in her belly when she left the Alabama hospital. After a span of 6 weeks, Parks’ stomach was so swollen, that she looked pregnant again. Shortly after, her bowels shut down entirely.
Soon after being sent the emergency room by her primary care physician, x-rays that were performed on her showed that a surgical sponge the size of a washcloth had been left in her abdomen from the cesarean 6 weeks ago. After a six-hour emergency surgery to untangle the infected mass from her intestine, she needed nearly three weeks of hospitalization.
Parks had suffered from what is known officially as a "retained surgical item, “a sponge or instrument left in a patient's body. Such mistakes are considered so preventable that they're referred to in the medical world as "never events." They simply are not supposed to happen.
The Dangers of Retained Surgical Items
Even though it is hard to comprehend, thousands of patients a year leave operating rooms with surgical items in their bodies. And despite occasional tales of forceps, clamps and other hardware showing up in post-operative x-rays, those items are almost never the problem. Most often, it is the gauzy, cotton sponges that doctors use throughout operations to soak up blood and other fluids. New technology provided by sponge manufacturers now make surgical sponges with radio frequency tags. At the end of the surgical procedure, a wand is passed over the patient’s body, and any retained sponge will cause an audible and visual alarm. Yet thousands of hospitals and surgical centers have failed to adopt readily available technologies that all but eliminate the risk of leaving sponges in patients.
The consequences are enormous. Many patients carrying surgical sponges suffer for months or years before anyone determines the cause of the searing pain, digestive dysfunction and other typical ills. Often, by the time the error is discovered, infection has set in.
When a sponge is left in a patient after surgery, it often causes internal injuries, and sometimes even death. The victim of this medical mistake has a claim for medical malpractice, and may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering; medical expenses; lost income; and effects on activities.
Free Michigan Medical Malpractice Book
If you would like more information about your legal rights for a retained sponge or other surgical instrument, you can order our FREE book, "The Ultimate Michigan Medical Malpractice Handbook," by Lawrence J. Buckfire. The book is an insider's report on medical malpractice claims and includes why mo
st malpractice victims never receive compensation for their injuries. Our book sells for $14.95 on Amazon but Lawrence will send it to you for free!
Statute of Limitations For Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases varies from state to state. In Michigan, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the malpractice. In cased involving retained sponges or surgical instruments, the period can be extended in some circumstances if the item is not discovered until after the two year deadline. If you miss a deadline, your claim will be lost forever. To avoid these severe consequences, you should contact the Michigan malpractice lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. immediately.
Our No Fee Promise for Michigan Medical Malpractice Cases
We will represent you in your Michigan malpractice case under our No Fee Promise. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing!
Contact a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Patients and their families injured by a medical mistake should contact the Michigan medical malpractice firm of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Call us now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case.