Roanoke Foreign Object Attorney
When you undergo a surgical procedure, you should never have to fear that your surgeon has made a potentially deadly error by leaving a foreign object such as a sponge, a towel, or a surgical tool inside your body. However, these kinds of surgical mistakes occur more often than you might expect. If a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside a patient’s body after surgery, it is commonly described as a “never event”—an error that never should have happened and that can have devastating consequences.
In many cases, patients do not even learn about retained surgical bodies until months or sometimes years after a surgical procedure, at which point the foreign object has caused irreparable harm. One of our experienced Roanoke foreign object attorney can speak with you today about filing a claim.
What is a Foreign Object Error in Roanoke?
What is a foreign object or retained foreign body injury in Roanoke, VA? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that the problem of retained foreign bodies after surgery is a particular kind of surgical error that results in an object such as a surgical sponge, surgical instrument, or another type of foreign body used during the surgical procedure being left inside the patient following the operation.
These objects can go by a number of different terms that are similar and all refer to the same problem: retained surgical foreign body (RFSB), retained surgical body (RSB), retained foreign body (RFB), and unintentionally retained foreign object (URFO) to name a few. According to the NIH, approximately 1,500 cases of retained foreign bodies occur every year in the U.S. alone.
In most cases, patients do not realize that they have been the victim of this life-threatening type of medical error until they begin to experience significant pain or discomfort in the area of the foreign body or foreign object. For most patients in this situation, at least one follow-up surgery is necessary to remove the retained foreign body, but it may be necessary to undergo additional procedures in order to repair the damage caused by the foreign body.
Timeline for Filing a Foreign Object Claim in Roanoke
Under Virginia law, most medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years from the date of the healthcare provider’s negligent act or omission that caused the patient’s harm. However, Virginia law recognizes that some types of medical malpractice may not produce signs or symptoms for many months or, in some cases, for many years following the initial act. Accordingly, in certain cases, the statute of limitations can be extended:
“In cases arising out of a foreign object . . . being left in a patient’s body, for a period of one year from the date the object is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.”
To be clear, if a surgeon leaves a foreign object in your body, you will have one year from the date you discover the foreign object, or reasonably should have discovered it, to file a claim.
Contact a Foreign Object Lawyer in Roanoke
If you need advice about a medical malpractice claim after discovering a foreign object left in your body, our Roanoke surgical error attorneys can help. Contact MichieHamlett today for more information.