Left Behind Surgical Equipment Triggering Lawsuits in Texas Hospitals

surgical tools

In a hospital setting, a doctor or nurse’s negligence can cause serious injury.

There is a long history in Texas, as well as across the nation, of surgical equipment being left behind in patients. Equipment created to assist in surgeries, when negligently left inside the patient, become foreign objects that harm the very lives they were created to treat.


A Spongy Knee

Four days after having surgery on her knee, a young college student developed a fever and became lethargic. It was later found that a surgical sponge had been left behind in her knee during her surgery. The resulting infection and follow-up surgeries that were required to fix the issue left this 23-year-old athlete in constant pain and no longer able to run.

A Dropped Piece of Equipment

During a spinal surgery, a surgeon dropped a screw inside a patient’s body. The dropped screw ended up injuring her femoral nerve, which made her unable to lift her right leg or bend her right knee, in addition to weakness and pain in the lower part of her body. The screw was retrieved two days later through another surgery, but:

“Following the second surgery, Latham “suffered subsequent abdominal hernias which required surgical repair, and is at risk for the development of hernias and complications in the future,”’ (NJ.com)

A Life-Threatening Mistake Hidden

Seven years ago, a patient had a procedure that left her forever injured. During the procedure, an 8-inch broken piece of a catheter was left behind in the patient’s body. Eventually, the hospital discovered it but failed to tell the patient until 7 years later. By then it was too late as reported by The Dallas Morning News:

“In 2014, Parkland doctors told Wilson about the catheter. By then, it had calcified and moved, posing a potentially life-threatening danger. Wilson was put on blood-thinning medications, which also carry significant risks. Now, she might have to live with the catheter for the rest of her life because there may be no safe way to remove it.”

Doctors and hospitals are aware of the dangers posed by left behind surgical equipment and have established procedures to try to ensure such mistakes don’t happen. These types of injuries are preventable by following these procedures and making sure all surgical equipment is safely removed.

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If you or a loved one has had a similar experience following a surgery, please contact us today for a free case evaluation.