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Thousands of surgical errors a year result in objects left behind

Approximately 4,000 people a year across the country, and likely a few here in Oregon, discover that something was left behind in their bodies after an operation. The ramifications of these types of surgical errors can range from moderate to deadly. Those who survive the ordeal often require additional surgeries in order to remove the object and additional medical care for recovery and/or infections.

Back in April, a woman underwent a uterine ablation because she was experiencing heavy menstrual cycles, along with a tubal ligation since she did not want to have any more children. After a few days, she realized that she was not getting any better. In fact, her pain was worsening.

She went back to the doctor at least three times, complaining of heavy pain, cramping and nausea. After a supposedly thorough examination, she was told that she had a severe vaginal infection and was put on a course of antibiotics. She felt somewhat better for a while.

However, on July 3, she was using the restroom, and something metal got caught on the toilet paper. A trip to the emergency room revealed that the tip of a surgical instrument used in her procedure 11 weeks prior was left inside her body. The California woman was fortunate to have survived the ordeal. Her attorney is working to determine exactly what went wrong.

This would most likely also be one of the first steps taken by an Oregon attorney under similar circumstances. Once all of the facts regarding the surgical errors are gathered, a medical malpractice claim could be filed. Successfully litigated claims could result in the award of damages to help with the financial losses, along with any current or future medical needs.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Woman's Pain Mystery Solved When Surgical Tool Found Inside Her", Sept. 28, 2016

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