A common medical malpractice in the surgical field involved retained surgical instruments in the patient's body after surgery. This act of negligence can result in critical complications for the patient, causing severe pain, infection, and/or death.

Additionally, the patient will have to undergo corrective surgeries to get the retained instrument removed. Such medical errors can prove to be financially, physically, and mentally traumatic for the patient, and surgeons are expected to take proper measures to ensure that it does not happen during a surgery.

Incidences of RSI

It often happens that during a surgery, surgical tools or instruments are retained or end up in a patient's body while they were not meant to be. Foreign objects inserted inside the body for conducting the procedure may get overlooked by the surgical team and get retained in the body. When such negligence leads to complications or death of the patient, the medical team is believed to have committed a medical malpractice.

Some of the commonly retained surgical devices include needles, towels, scalpels, scissors or clamps, knife blades, suction tubes, tweezers, forceps, etc. Sponges and malleable or ribbon retractors also get commonly retained. It has also been observed that the abdomen most often houses retained surgical instruments from surgeries.

Almost all surgical procedures involve the usage of staples or surgical clips inside the patient's body. While it cannot be denied that sometimes these clips may be meant for retention in the body, in most cases they are not devices to be left inside the body after the procedure. When clips get retained by mistake, they mobilize within the patient's body and lead to complications and serious infections.

Risks that lead to RSI

There may be various risk factors that could lead to RSI:

  • Communication - Failure of communication between surgical team members (especially) during the surgical procedure
  • Deviations from plan - Dynamic changes that are done in the course of surgery during the procedure due to unforeseen complications
  • Weight of the patient - Larger BMI ratios of the patient increase the risks of RSI
  • Miscounting - Incorrect calculation and record keeping of surgical tools and instruments before and after surgery
  • Emergency surgery - organizing a medical team in emergency situations or under stress

Preventing RSI

Not all cases of RSI lead to complications or fatalities for the patient. When RSI causes no harm to the patient's health, the surgical team is not liable to pay any compensation. However, when any RSI creates any impact, big or small, on the patient's health and wellbeing, it becomes a medical malpractice. In order to reduce the risks of RSI and conduct a successful surgery to save a life, various measures can be taken by the medical team.

It is most critical to take an accurate counting of the instruments before and after the surgery, to confirm that no instruments have been retained in the body, if they were not meant for retention.

Contact our New York City medical malpractice attorneys for suitable legal advice if you or someone you love has suffered due to RSI during surgery. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff (RMFW) have law offices located in Astoria, Queens, New York City and two locations in Brooklyn. Speak to RMFW right now at 212-344-1000.

RMFW has won large amounts of money for their clients. Do you want your net worth to increase in size? Do you want in increase your chances of winning your case? Then call RMFW now - they are waiting to speak to you.


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