Crandall & Pera Law, LLC
Call 24/7 - Free Consultation

'Retained Surgical Items' Plague Patients; Recent CMPW Verdict

Patients continue to have "retained surgical items" - or items including sponges, needles and instruments - left in their bodies following surgery about a dozen times a day, according to the latest studies. 

While there is no federal reporting requirement on these instances, government data suggests it happens between 4,500 and 6,000 times a year in the U.S. alone, with sponges accounting for about 70% of lost surgical items.

Complications for a patient suffering from one of these incidents can last a lifetime. Many patients suffer for years before anyone determines the cause of their pain, at which point infection has more than likely set in, leading to loss of parts of intestines and even death.

Even while these incidents continue to plague the medical community, fewer than 15% of U.S. hospitals have invested in electronic tracking devices for surgical sponges. Sponge-tracking systems typically add $8-$12 to the cost of an operation - a tiny fraction of the average procedure's price - and would reduce the risk of retained surgical items almost to zero, if used properly.

The Mayo Clinic, which adopted a bar code system for each sponge to be scanned before and after it goes into a patient, has not had a lost sponge case in almost four years. Read the full details here:

What surgeons leave behind costs some patients dearly

A retained surgical item - in this case, a surgical towel - was at the center of a recent case of Crandall & Pera Law Attorney Steve Crandall (Kelly Maron et al. v. Lake Health Systems and Dr. Timothy Pritchard). The towel was left in our client's abdomen following a June 2009 surgery to remove colon cancer and was not discovered for five months, causing the removal of 2/3 of her bowel and massive digestive issues which will last her entire life. The $910,000 verdict reached in August 2012 for this case has been informally reported as the largest medical negligence verdict in Lake County, Ohio's history. Read more about this case.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to retained surgical items, please call to investigate your matter fully. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

The Respect And Dignity You Deserve

Our dedicated team of skilled trial attorneys and registered nurses have devoted their careers to seeking justice for clients just like YOU. Please reach out to us today at 855-444-6651 or via the Internet, we are only one call or email away. An initial consultation is free and comes without strings.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Cincinnati Office
36 East 7th St.
Suite 2610
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Cincinnati Law Office Map

Cleveland Office
850 Euclid Ave.
Suite 1122
Cleveland, OH 44114

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Cleveland Law Office Map

Columbus Office
35 E. Gay St.
Suite 226
Columbus, OH 43215

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Columbus Law Office Map

Cincinnati Office
1095 Nimitzview Dr.
Suite 403
Cincinnati, OH 45230

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Cincinnati Law Office Map

Chesterland Office
12768 Chillicothe Rd.
Suite 210
Chesterland, OH 44026

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Chesterland Law Office Map

Lexington Office
1900 Cambridge Dr.
Suite 101
Lexington, KY 40504

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Lexington Law Office Map

Chagrin Falls Office
15 1/2 N. Franklin St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

Toll Free: 855-444-6651
Chagrin Falls Law Office Map