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Know your rights if you're a victim of a surgical error

Surgical errors should not take place, but they sometimes do as a result of a surgeon or other medical provider's errors. For example, a nurse who is counting sponges as they're removed from a surgical site might miscount, allowing one to be left behind, or a surgeon might cut too deeply, injuring an organ that was not supposed to be punctured.

Whenever a surgical error happens, the hope is that the medical team will take immediate steps to correct it. Repairing an accidental puncture of a neighboring organ or realizing that a sponge is missing before the patient is taken out of the operating room would be preferential. However, many surgical errors aren't realized until much later.

What to do if you're a victim of a "never event"

If a sponge was left inside of you or suffered from other surgical errors that shouldn't have happened, you need to speak with the surgeon about what they plan to do to help. If that's not possible, or if a new provider is seeing you, you may want to go through all necessary medical treatment and then pursue a lawsuit or claim against the previous surgeon who caused you harm.

In many cases, victims are able to have their health restored and recover well. In others, there is serious, even irreparable, harm done. In those cases, it's essential to speak with your attorney about your options and what you can do to make sure your medical provider never makes a similar mistake with another patient. Your life may have been put at risk, and that's unacceptable.

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