What to do if someone, in either the hospital or a subsequent nursing facility, left a sponge in after a surgical procedure or re-dressing of the wound?

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What to do if someone, in either the hospital or a subsequent nursing facility, left a sponge in after a surgical procedure or re-dressing of the wound?

A month later it was discovered by a doctor at an outpatient facility and I now have to have additional surgery to remove it. Should I sue and, if so, whom? Should I contact the hospital administration and my insurance company first?

Asked on March 20, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You would sue the person(s) or institution(s) you believed left the sponge in the wound; if you don't know which of more than one possibilities, it is, you could sue everyone who reasonably may have left it and allow them to "fight it out" about liability (who is responsible). But it would only be worth doing this if you incurred several thousand dollars in out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs and/or suffered some lasting impairment or injury from it. Otherwise, since medical malpractice suits can be expensive (you have to hire a medical expert; they do not work cheap), you could spend as much or more on the lawsuit than you'd get back.


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