There are ways to prevent a foreign object from being forgotten

There is a chance that you could exit a New Mexico hospital after a surgical procedure and have an object inside of your body. Each year, there are up to 6,000 reports of surgeons leaving items such as sponges, towels and instruments inside of patients. There are many reasons why this occurs such as negligence on the part of a medical professional or changing circumstances during your procedure. 

As a general rule, you don’t have to worry about larger surgical instruments being left inside of you after a procedure is complete.  However, sponges and towels, guide wires, needles and tweezers are among

the 15 common items left in a person after a surgery.


Medical providers and hospitals have developed technology and methods designed to prevent medical equipment from being forgotten in a patient’s body.  During a medical procedure, surgeons and nursing staff keep track of how many items are used during the procedure and are required to make sure the post operation count matches before closing up the patient in order to verify every item has been removed.  Surgical towels typically contain material that is designed to illuminate on a X-ray so that they can be seen on imaging studies.  Likewise, metal objects such as guide wires, needles and surgical tools are readily identified on imaging studies post operation. 


When a foreign object is left inside of you it has the potential to cause problems.  While there is a chance that you won’t notice that a foreign object wasn’t removed after your surgery, there is also a possibility that you will experience an infection, chronic pain or permanent nerve injuries.   Additionally, surgery is typically necessary to remove the foreign object, but depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to undergo additional surgery to stop internal bleeding, to save an organ, or to clean up a severe infection.  A healthcare provider’s negligent failure to remove a foreign object could possibly lead to death from organ failure, internal bleeding or other problems. 


If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against those who

acted in a negligent manner. An attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for physical injuries and other damages related to a medical professional’s potentially careless actions.