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by Jeff Rasansky - November 30, 2013
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with more than 25 years of legal experience.

Have you suffered further injury due to surgical malpractice?

It is not uncommon for objects to be left in the body after surgery. In fact, sponges left inside the body are one of the most common types of surgical errors. This type of error is so common that it has a name: gossypiboma.

Gossypiboma and Medical Malpractice in Dallas

Surgical Sponges Left inside the Body

The name gossypiboma comes from the Latin word for cotton, gossypium, and the Swahili word for hidden, boma. Another name for gossypiboma is textilioma.

During surgery, doctors use gauze sponges to control bleeding and mop up fluids around the surgery site. Nurses are supposed to count the number of sponges brought into the operating room and make sure that each sponge is accounted for at the end of surgery… but that doesn’t always happen.

If there a lot of bleeding, doctors may request extra sponges. When these things go uncounted for, it’s not unlikely that a sponge will end up closed inside the body at the end of surgery.

In rare cases, the sponge causes immediate problems and is detected and removed. Usually, the sponge sits in its hiding place for months, or even years, without causing any complications. Then, at some point, the patient begins to suffer from pain.  At first, doctors can’t explain the pain. The patient may be told it is in his or her head, or diagnosed with a stomach bug. But, when the pain worsens and other symptoms or signs of infection arise, a CT scan may detect the sponge. Retained surgical sponges often cause significant permanent injuries to the patient, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Intense pain
  • Vomiting
  • Infection
  • Internal scarring
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Fistula in the bowels
  • Erosion of the intestinal wall
  • Death

Gossypiboma is the most-common surgical error in the U.S., but it’s completely preventable. Many quality hospitals use sponges that have radio frequency (RF) tags. After surgery, the nurse waves a detection wand over the patient’s body. If there is a retained sponge, an alarm will sound.

Can a lawyer help me?

If you’ve suffered due to gossypiboma, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and any permanent injury or scarring.

If you would like more information about Texas surgical mistake lawsuits and your legal rights, please contact the attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 for a free legal consultation. If you decide to hire us to handle your claim, we’ll do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.

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