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Nonprofit: surgical instruments frequently left in patients

When people go into surgery, they understand the risks that any surgery might present. Doctors also understand that medical mistakes can cause injury to patients, and many are devoted to preventing mistakes through the latest technology and ensuring they are well-trained in the procedures they perform.

However, one group contends that more could be done to prevent potential medical mistakes involving leaving instruments inside of patients. The group, The Joint Commission, a nonprofit health care safety group, says that nearly 800 people have suffered injuries because of instruments left inside of patients since 2005. Given the number of surgeries that are performed each year, this may be considered a relatively small number of incidents. It isn't clear how many of these cases may have occurred in New York.

No doctor would intentionally leave an instrument inside of a patient. Hospitals and other medical staff are often responsible for ensuring proper staffing numbers are maintained, and technology is in place to prevent such incidents.

When a physician is sued for medical malpractice, they might not understand how to react. They might quickly want to call a patient and apologize for what may have happened. Speaking with a medical malpractice defense attorney in New York might be a wise decision

A medical malpractice lawsuit might not only cause financial issues for a doctor, but they might see an increase in insurance costs and in some cases a loss of their medical license. A loss of license could end a medical practice for the rest of a person's career.

Source: CBS News, "Nearly 800 surgical tools left in patients since 2005: Report," Ryan Jaslow, Oct. 18, 2013

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