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August 31 - Newsblog #1
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Homeowner and Wife Sue over Police Shooting
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Homeowner’s Possession of Handgun Legal Under 2nd Amendment
September 14 - Newsblog #3
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: if a Government or Government Agency is at Fault, You Can Sue
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Lawsuit Against Police Department Invokes the Civil Rights Act
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: a Clear Line from the Action – or Inaction – to the Injury
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Police Insensitivity Turns Traffic Stop into a Travesty
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Police Who Abuse Power Must Be Held Accountable, Law Professor States
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Holding Overly Aggressive Police Accountable
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Brown Vs. Impd Case About Much More Than Punishment or Money
November 9 - Newsblog #10
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Improper Medical Diagnosis and Care Resulted in Loss of an Eye
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Medical Malpractice Claims Have a Front End and a Back End
November 30 - Newsblog #12
Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Truths About Medical Malpractice
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Yes, You Can Sue City Hall
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Slip and Fall Changes Two Lives Forever
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In the News: Ramey & Hailey Year in Review
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In the News: Teen’s Sexual Abuse Case Calls Attention to the Problem
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In the News: Parents of Survivor Sue Parents of Shooter
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In the News: Erin Brockovich Teams Up with Indiana Moms
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Your Injury Attorneys in the News: Case Settled in Favor of Catastrophic Slip and Fall Injury Victim
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In the News: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Rehab Facility
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In the News: Nurse Arrested in Sexual Abuse Case
February 15 - Newsblog #22
In the News: Running the Clock on Indiana Medical Malpractice
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In the News: to Repeal or Not to Repeal – Indiana Legislators Rule “not”
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In the News: Helping Physicians Keep Helping
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In the News: Parents of Brain-damaged Infant Sue Hospital
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In the News: Owner of Gun Wins Decision
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In the News: Indiana House Passes Long Term Care Protections Bill
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In the News: Slip-and-fall Victim Wins Right to Sue Dollar Tree
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In the News: Inspection Report Shows Vets Harmed at 52 Nursing Homes
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In the News: Sandwich Diversion Causes Fatal Two-semitrailer Crash
April 26 - Newsblog #31
In the News: Does Premises Liability Cover Goose Attacks?
May 10 - Newsblog #32
Two-week-old N.y. Verdict Offers Takeaways for Slip and Fall Victims
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In the News: Barrel Blast Triggers Wrongful Death Lawsuit
May 24 - Newsblog #34
In the News: when a Product Manufacturer is Not at Fault
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In the News – College Doc’s Sexual Abuse of Students Coming to Light
June 7 - Newsblog #36
In the News – One Week, Four Motorcycle Accidents
June 14 - Newsblog #37
List of Troubled Nursing Homes Released
June 21 - Newsblog #38
In the News: Kansas No-caps Ruling Changes Personal Injury Climate
June 28 - Newsblog #39
In the News: Jury Awards $10.5 Million for Pain and Suffering in Birth Injury Case
July 5 - Newsblog #40
In the News: More Indicted in Last Year’s Duck Boat Tragedy
July 17 - Newsblog #41
In the News: Richard Hailey on Litigation Team for Lawsuit Vs. Tesla
July 24 - Newsblog #42
In the News: Malpractice Lawsuit Yields Largest Award in History
August 28 - Newsblog #43
In the News: Trucks V. Passenger Cars – Score 18:116. Everybody Loses

Medical Malpractice Newsletter

Failure to Remove Foreign Instruments After Surgery

As alarming as it may seem, surgical teams have left objects and instruments used during operation inside the body of a patient. Every year, foreign bodies are left in nearly 1,500 patients in surgeries performed in the United States.

What are Foreign Bodies?

Foreign bodies can be a variety of equipment used during a surgical procedure. Foreign bodies include sponges, clamps, retractors, needles, knife blades, safety pins, electrodes, clips, cotton and gauze. Sometimes, even a combination of foreign bodies can be left inside a patient after a surgical procedure.

Why Does a Foreign Body Get Left Behind?

Many studies have been conducted to determine the reason that foreign bodies would be left behind, in order to deter future similar accidents. However, a singular cause could not be pinpointed.

The accidents were found to be attributed more to the stress of an emergency or complication that manifests while the patient is on the operating table, as opposed to physician fatigue. One study established that emergency room surgical procedures were nine times more likely to leave a foreign body in the patient, and a complication requiring a change in procedure made the likelihood of a retained foreign body four times more likely.

What are the Safeguards to Protect Against a Retained Foreign Body?

There is a standard practice, that after every surgical procedure, the surgical team is to count every piece of equipment that is on the table and compare it with the number of tools that was placed on the table prior to the commencement of the procedure. Two-thirds of the foreign body mistakes happen despite this procedural safeguard.

The American College of Surgeons recommends that the following procedures be followed to prevent the retention of foreign bodies in the patient:

  • Consistent application and adherence to standard counting procedures
  • Performance of methodical wound exploration before closure of the surgical site
  • Use of x-ray detectable items in the surgical wound
  • Maintenance of an optimal operating room environment to allow focused performance on operative tasks
  • Employment of x-ray or other technology (i.e. bar coding, radiofrequency detection) to ensure items have not been left in the patient
  • Suspension of these measures as required in life-threatening situations

The Aftermath of a Retained Foreign Body

As a result of the foreign body, most patients endure excruciating pain, and later discover the presence of the retained foreign body through a subsequent doctor visit. Usually, a patient will require an additional surgical procedure to remove the object as a foreign body will rarely come out on its own.

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