Hospital fined for surgical equipment left inside a patient
Twelve different out-of-state hospitals were all slapped with fines for actions that led to patient injuries and near fatalities. Maryland patients typically expect that hospitals are the safest place to be during a medical emergency, but unfortunately, this is simply not always the case. From surgical equipment left inside a patient to other acts of negligence, there are many victims who leave the hospital in worse condition than they entered it.
Examples of negligence that resulted in the hospitals being penalized include patient falls and inappropriate medication dosage. One hospital, in particular, did not have any type of policy concerning what to do after a patient fall, which became clear when a patient with a specific history of falls slipped and fell in the shower. Already suffering from cardiac health problems, the woman suffered further injury after striking her head during the fall.
Left-behind surgical tools were responsible for more than one penalty. For one patient, staff in the operating room did not accurately keep track of tools used for a woman's hysterectomy, and she ended up in the hospital about a week later before anyone realized that an item had been left inside of her. Another incident involved a lack of policy for counting scalp clips used during cranial surgery. This inadequacy resulted in one of the clips being sewn up inside of a victim's skull.
Keeping count of tools used in a procedure and implementing policies to ensure patients' continued safety are not uncommon practices. Indeed, these standards are found in most hospitals in Maryland. Unfortunately, surgical equipment left inside a patient does not seem to be a rare issue, although it can and does cause serious complications, further pain and even more medical bills for victims. While a hospital might be fined by a higher affiliation, victims can also seek justice and compensation via a successfully litigated medical malpractice suit.