Yes. Your surgical team is required to count all of the items used in your surgery and recount them before the procedure is over. Any discrepancy in the numbers should be dealt with immediately, leaving you with very little risk of suffering a retained object surgical error in Kentucky.
However, there are a few different situations where these counts are not properly documented—or the staff does not pay proper attention to procedures. For example:
- Emergency surgery. Medical professionals have very little (if any) time to prepare for emergency procedures. If a surgeon needs a tool or sponge immediately, the surgical team may focus on speed and lifesaving efforts rather than keeping an accurate tally of items.
- Abdominal surgeries. Instruments are most often left in the abdominal cavity, since they may easily slip into the patient’s trunk and be cushioned by the surrounding tissues. These errors are even more likely to occur if the patient is overweight.
- Unforeseen complications. There’s always a chance that a routine procedure will turn into an emergency situation. Surgeons may need additional clamps, scissors or gauze that were not in the original count, increasing the risk of these items being left behind.
The important thing to remember is that your surgeon must be held to a reasonable standard of care. If you have suffered a serious injury due to medical negligence, contact the experienced Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White today at (800) 634-8767 for a free case evaluation.