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Symptoms and Potential Complications From Retained Surgical Items

SurgeryStudies indicate that some 1,500 to 2,000 patients have a foreign item left in their body after surgery each year. Retained surgical items, or RSIs, are foreign objects that can include everything from surgical sponges to surgical instruments, such as clamps, suture needles, and forceps. Sponges are, by far, the most common, but all can create serious complications for patients. The following covers these complications and it explains what to do if a retained surgical item has impacted you or someone you love.

Symptoms and Complications of Retained Surgical Items

At first, symptoms of a retained surgical item may be tenuous, or perhaps easy to excuse as post-operative pain. Over time, though, the retained item can start to erode, adhere to internal organs, or lead to pus-filled ulcers. Sharp objects, such as scalpels and needles, can puncture internal organs and blood vessels, which can lead to unnoticed internal bleeding. Sadly, by the time the symptoms become severe, they are often serious or fatal.

Infections can lead to sepsis. Bleeding can lead to iron deficiency and possibly even death. Ulcerations can rupture and spread throughout the body, leading to widespread and severe infections. In some cases, retained items may even fuse with internal body tissues, which can result in a need for the removal of those tissues and organs. For example, one man lost most of his colon because of surgical sponges that had adhered to and eroded his intestines.

Treating Retained Surgical Items

While some victims of a retained surgical item may suffer fatality, others are likely to need extensive treatment to repair the damage that was done. At the very least, they are likely to need an additional surgery to remove the retained item. They may also need IV medications and fluids, blood transfusions, physical therapy, and more. In some cases, permanent disability, loss of an organ, or other vital function may be lost as well.

In these situations, and in many others, victims may be owed compensation. Unfortunately, pursuing that settlement can be complicated and difficult. As such, victims are encouraged to seek experienced legal assistance with their claims.

Contact Our San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP, we fight for the rights of victims. Backed by decades of experience, we aggressively pursue the most favorable settlement option in every case. Ask how our San Jose medical malpractice attorneys can help with your case. Call (408) 289-1417 and schedule your free consultation today.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.