Going through a major surgery is a traumatic experience all on its own for any patient, no matter the reasons why. It takes time to recover and you will more than likely miss work as you recuperate from the surgery. Sometimes, however, the surgery could end up making you feel strange or cause odd pains that were not there before–and this may be linked to the surgical team leaving behind surgery instruments or towels that they should have removed before ending the surgery. This type of medical malpractice should never happen, but it can if a member of the team was negligent in ensuring everything was properly removed.
If you are a victim of negligent surgical practices and have suffered from surgical materials left inside of you, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss the unique details about your case. A Los Angeles leaving instruments inside patients lawyer may be able to assist you in filing a claim. Call (800) 794-0444 to start your free consultation today.
Types of Foreign Objects that Can Be Left Behind
While this issue should not be common, sometimes staff gets in a hurry or there may be low staff availability that causes them to rush when they should not be doing so. In the process, they could leave behind instruments such as:
- Surgical Towels
- Broken Pieces of Instruments
- Pieces of Staplers
- Laparoscopic Trocars
- Other Small Pieces/Parts of Equipment
The technical term that is used for foreign objects left inside of a patient is gossypiboma, gauzeoma, or textiloma. These conditions can end up being quite serious if they are not quickly addressed.
Why a Surgical Instrument Could Be Left Inside You
No matter why an instrument or foreign material is left inside you, it all amounts to some form of medical malpractice and negligence. Healthcare organizations should have policies and procedures that work to prevent this from happening, but sometimes the staff is either poorly trained or does not follow the procedures as outlined. The hospital or surgery center could also have problems with communication or have a poor company culture that results in staff feeling intimidated or rushed. There could also be risk factors involved with your surgery, which may include:
- Multiple surgeries
- Changing surgical teams during your surgery
- Overweight/obese patients
- Emergency surgeries
- Long surgeries
For a free legal consultation with a Leaving Instruments Inside Patients Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Common Symptoms That You May Encounter
If you do have a surgical instrument or tool left inside you after a surgery, you may experience symptoms that will make it hard to diagnose the problem without x-rays, cat scans, or magnetic resonance imaging or MRIs. Even then, the problem may not show up right away and you could be facing an extensive exploratory surgery to locate the issue. Symptoms might be:
- Unexplained pain that is not going away
- Feeling sick/like you are not recovering
- Coughing up/vomiting blood
- Abscess or fistula
- Symptoms of an infection
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Steps to Consider Taking After Encountering Medical Malpractice
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, it may benefit you to contact a Los Angeles leaving instruments inside patients lawyer who has knowledge of the laws surrounding your case and can provide insight into your next steps.
When you have surgery, you are placing your trust in that surgeon and the surgical team, and when they mess up, you should not be liable for that. Often, the hospital or surgery center will try to settle with you for an initial amount that may be too low. Your lawyer will negotiate with them and work to get you the compensation you deserve after being a victim of their malpractice and negligence.
Make sure you retain all x-rays, CT scans, and other medical records as evidence of what happened to you so that your lawyer has access to that key information.
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California Medical Malpractice Laws
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5, you have three years from the date of the malpractice or one year from the day you discover the issue to file a medical malpractice claim. In other words, if you find out that you have been injured due to medical malpractice, you have a year to file so long as it is within the three-year statute of limitations.
In this case, though, the limitation could be extended due to the condition stemming from an object being left behind inside of you.
It is also required to send the medical practitioner a 90-day notice of your intent to file. Within that notice, you must include:
- The legality of the claim
- Any injuries suffered because of the malpractice
- The type of loss
California, under California Civil Code § 1714, adheres to a comparative negligence law, which means you can file for damages even if you have any fault. In the case of an instrument left inside you, that may not apply as the fault will more than likely rest solely on the team that cared for you during surgery.
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Types of Compensation You Might Recover
For any medical malpractice case, there are certain types of compensation you might be able to file for, which include economic types such as:
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Costs
- Loss of Earnings
- Loss of Ability to Work
- Any Other Damages that Are Quantifiable
For noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and others, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act places a cap of $250,000 on any malpractice suit. This means even if you have no fault in the case, you are still only able to collect $250,000 for noneconomic damages. Note, however, there is no limit on medical bills, loss of earnings, and other economic damages. Your lawyer will discuss your options with you at length.
Contact a Lawyer Today to Learn More About Your Case
If you or a loved one is the victim of a medical malpractice case where the surgical team left instruments inside your body and sewed you back up, then you might be entitled to an award. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today so we can get you connected with a Los Angeles leaving instruments inside patient lawyer. A member of our team is available for your first free consultation at (800) 794-0444.
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