Preventable Surgical Complications: Retained Surgical Items

Surgeries of all types have a risk for complications. Routine complications can include things such as the body’s refusal of an implanted device, delayed healing, bleeding, wound dehiscence (opening up) or infection. Other complications can be preventable and are indicative of malpractice. One of the most common types of surgical complications that often lead to medical malpractice claims is retained surgical items. This means an item or tool from performing the surgery is left inside the patient’s surgical site unintentionally. Retained items occur in up to 1 per 1000 abdominal