New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Co.

Accidental side effects of surgeries

After you have gone through surgery in New Mexico, you usually expect to be back on your feet in no time. Surgery can sometimes have unintended side effects, however, and one of these is retained surgical items. At Curtis and Lucero, we understand that dealing with the ramifications of an RSI is not part of your recuperation plan.

While you may wonder how medical staff could leave surgical items in patients, RSIs are more common than you think. According to, between 2,000 and 4,000 surgical objects are left in patients each year. Surgical sponges are most commonly left behind, but guidewires, catheters and microneedles have also been unintentionally left in patients. Just about any kind of operation might witness a retained surgical sponge, although you may be more likely to retain items if you have surgery on your chest or pelvis. Many items are left behind because of communication problems among medical staff, such as failing to account for all instruments used during a surgery.

You might think that RSIs would be noticed immediately, either by hospital staff or the patient. While some cases have been found and rectified soon after surgery, some people may have a retained object for years without being aware of its presence. To have these removed, most people need to undergo another surgery.

After surgery, it is important to listen to your body, as you may generally know when something does not feel right. Problems can occur at any time of your surgical procedure, and you usually trust that any problems will be fixed or eliminated by hospital staff. More information on this topic is available on our web page.


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Curtis & Co.
215 Central Avenue NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: 505-633-7998
Fax: 505-242-0812
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