Wrongful Death Caused by Foreign Object Left Inside Patient: Catastrophic Oregon Medical Malpractice

Objects Left Inside Patients After a Surgery Can Result in Catastrophic Personal Injuries and Even Wrongful Death Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice


Surgical errors are some of the worst types of Oregon medical malpractice because they can cause an array of catastrophic injuries.  These injuries can become fatal or result in debilitating conditions that a patient does not need to ordinarily endure.  One type of surgical error that is likely to lead to catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death is an foreign object left inside of a patient.  When this happens and the object is not discovered, it is likely life threatening.


What are Foreign Objects that Could be Left Inside Patients?


A foreign object is any type of object that the surgical team used during the surgery which is not intended to be left inside the patient at the conclusion of the surgery.  Some examples of foreign objects that are left inside of patients which can be Oregon medical malpractice include the following:


  • Scalpels;
  • Towels;
  • Lap pads (to absorb blood);
  • Spacers;
  • Wires;
  • Needles;
  • Suture needles;
  • Fabrics;
  • Forceps; and
  • Other objects.


Dangers of Foreign Objects Left Inside a Patient


Some people may say “so what” if a foreign object is left inside of a patient, but it is actually a very serious medical emergency.  This is because the body knows that is and is not supposed to be in there.  The body will attempt to expel the foreign object or right it off.  The increased inflammation can cause serious damage to the surrounding tissue.  An abscess could form to attempt to push the object out of the body, which can also be incredibly dangerous.  In either situation, the damage to nearby tissue could result in a serious infection.


Infections that are in the abdominal cavity are very dangerous and difficult to treat, and can develop into sepsis which can lead to catastrophic injuries such as the loss of a limb or wrongful death.  In addition, the objects themselves can harbor bacteria or other pathogens which can result in serious infections also leading to sepsis.


Liability for Foreign Objects Left Inside a Patient 


A foreign object that is left inside of a patient is generally considered to be a “never event,” meaning that it should never happen under the care and treatment of a reasonably prudent physician who is complying with the standard of care.


The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may also apply, which means the “thing speaks for itself.”  This is when the defendant is in the exclusive control of the object, the victim does not contribute to the negligence, and the object is not caused in the absence of negligence.  With a foreign object left inside of a patient, it is very likely that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur will apply to hold the defendant healthcare provider liable for the injuries.


Foreign Objects Left Inside Patients Can Kill


Even a small foreign object can have a big impact of a person’s health.  These can be very serious instances of medical malpractice.  If you or a loved one were paralyzed due to a doctor’s mistake, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn how we can help you.


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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