According to the ECRI Institute’s report of 2019’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards, retained surgical sponges continue to be one of the principal healthcare dangers in the United States. Sponges left in surgical sites can cause severe infections and serious complications, including the need for corrective surgery. When this happens, doctors and hospitals should be held accountable for their carelessness.
Hospitals are supposed to implement and enforce measures to prevent these inexcusable mistakes. Moreover, doctors are responsible for their patients during surgery and have a duty to care for their patients and avoid careless errors. Having a team of lawyers with the right experience and knowledge representing you can make a difference in the outcome.
If you or someone you know in Baltimore suffered injuries due to sponges left in the body after surgery, call the experienced team at Bennett and Heyman, P.C. We are results-oriented lawyers with a strong track record of successful personal injury cases and awards. We will pursue all possible legal actions and seek compensation for your injuries. Call (410) 727-2168 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Filing a Lawsuit in Maryland for Retained Sponge Injuries
Sponges are reportedly the most common surgical item forgotten or “retained” inside patients after surgery. However, not all sponges cause the same injuries, and sometimes they are not discovered until many years after surgery. In many cases, individuals go through various surgeries without sponge detection. Sometimes sponges appear as tumors or growths in medical tests, and the error is discovered after yet another surgery.
A viable lawsuit must point to specific facts directly related to the injury and other factors required as a matter of law. Experience in medical malpractice makes a significant difference when you want to file a lawsuit that will not be subject to procedural legal challenges.
Also, these cases can require solid legal expertise if tried before a jury. For example, Maryland courts rely on expert testimony to establish the extent of health problems caused by the retained sponge. Maryland courts have strict rules on expert testimony. Your attorney can give you a more definite idea of an expert’s role in your case. The main concern for personal injury attorneys is whether experts are truly competent or knowledgeable and don’t provide biased or prejudicial testimony against you.
Cause of Action for Retained Sponge Cases
The basis of lawsuits for careless medical attention is the legal theory of negligence. This theory has many interpretations regarding types of negligent conduct. Concerning medical errors in most cases relate to the failure to provide the standard of medical care.
However, in cases of retained sponges, the most common type of negligent action for retained sponges is a legal theory in which the error “speaks for itself.” Lawyers use the Latin term “Res Ipsa Loquitor” to refer to this concept. The application of this legal theory in Maryland focuses on:
- The notion that this type of mistake doesn’t occur without some careless mistake or negligence.
- The sponge must cause the harm.
- The physician or hospital had control over the sponge and could avoid the
Hospitals and doctors often try to blame the patient. Legal tactics for transferring liability and avoiding taking legal responsibility for mistakes are not always apparent. Unfortunately, hospitals and doctors try to employ underhanded legal tactics at times. Skilled negligence attorneys can recognize and fight against these methods, such as when a defendant tries to state there are other medical conditions behind the injuries or that someone else was responsible.
Financial Recovery in Retained Sponge Cases
Anytime someone is the victim of medical malpractice, the most sensitive and crucial issue is the determination of financial losses. Experienced personal injury attorneys typically conduct an exhaustive analysis of the economic and non-economic losses, including past, present, and future losses. This analysis isn’t just adding medical costs; it is also an exhaustive review of complex questions of law and of your rights.
Economic Losses or Damages
The goal of awarding these damages is to restore your financial situation to what it was before the injury and reimburse you for all associated costs. However, there are times when this becomes an intricate economic evaluation of your lost earnings and income.
Courts focus on the concept of corrective justice when determining the value of what you lost. Corrective justice rests on the idea that people who cause harm should be held accountable and pay for their actions. With the help of a dedicated and knowledgeable team of lawyers, your situation should be reviewed carefully to seek justice for your losses.
Losses can include your lost earnings, the loss of your lifestyle quality, your pain and suffering, and hardships imposed on your loved ones. Also, your attorney should advocate on your behalf and establish whether the conduct of the hospital or the doctors warrants additional punitive or punishment monetary damages due to reckless actions.
While sponges are typically used during surgeries, there is little doubt that leaving these items in someone’s system is a reckless oversight. In Maryland, you are required to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within three years after discovery of the injury. Don’t miss valuable time for filing your lawsuit.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Skilled Baltimore Attorney
At Bennett and Heyman, P.C., you will receive high-quality legal representation. Rest easy knowing your fees will not cause a burden in your life. We typically only receive payment if we are successful in obtaining compensation for your injuries. We proudly serve the community of Baltimore. Even though Baltimore is known for its renowned hospitals, mistakes occur. Stitching a person with a retained sponge is an inexcusable mistake, and the responsible individuals should be held accountable. To learn more about the legal actions you can pursue, call (410) 727-2168 to schedule a consultation.