Things usually go well in the surgery room. Right? Yes, for the most part. But medical mistakes are all too common, causing thousands of deaths in America every year, as well as even more injuries.
One issue is the problem of medical instruments, debris or other objects being left inside the bodies of patients after surgery has been completed.
Almost 5,000 patients have been injured in the last 5 years from having 'medical litter' left in their bodies. 70 people have died.
Another problem is that doctors sometimes know about something left inside a patients body but do not tell them for fear of worrying the patient (as if!), because it may be too difficult to remove and they do not feel what's left inside is dangerous or because they fear a lawsuit.
According to a report, "Those objects are inadvertently left behind in perhaps 1 of every 1,000 to 1,500 abdominal operations, according to a 2003 estimate. UDFs are different, however, because doctors usually know they're there, but they either make no attempt to retrieve the devices or are unsuccessful when they try.
“In some cases, finding a 10/0 [gauge] needle would be like looking for a contact lens in a shag rug carpet,” Clarke said. “Or, you know exactly where it is, but medically retrieving it would not be worth the risk. You’re not going to dig apart the femur to get a quarter-inch screw.”"
But there are also serious consequences. According to this report, "LaCheryl Robinson, for instance, is convinced that the technician who performed a breast biopsy in April 2000 knew that the needle broke during the procedure. She’s angry that doctors discounted her symptoms and feelings until the lump appeared last winter.
“The radiologist said, ‘Oh my God, there’s a needle in your breast,’” recalled Robinson, 50, who works two jobs — as a machine operator and for a beer distributor — and cares for her ailing mother. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, at least it’s not cancer.”
“It’s still not fair,” she said. “That was eight years of suffering and not knowing.”
Representatives for POH Medical Center in Pontiac declined comment on Robinson’s case because of pending litigation. " SOURCE http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25120613/
Tell Us -
Should medical personnel be mandated to tell all patients of even a suspected item left in them after surgery, even though it may be harmless?
And have you experienced something similar and would like to share your story?
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