Surgeon accidentally leaves drill-bit piece in patient’s head during surgery

A physician was suspended along with an operating team at Rhode Island Hospital after a post-operative scan of a patient’s head revealed that a piece of a medical drill bit was left in the patient’s head during surgery. The piece of drill was discovered two days after the unidentified patient underwent surgery.

The Rhode Island Department of Health is investigating the incident and the surgeon and the operating room staff was suspended.

Leaving objects in a patient’s body is one type of medical malpractice. Surgeon Atul Gawande published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine which estimates that approximately 1,500 surgical objects are left inside surgery patients every year.

Surgical sponges are the most common foreign objects left inside a person’s bodies of those patients who filed medical malpractice claims. Other items left include clamps, retractors and electrodes. Location of left surgical equipment include the abdomen, pelvis, chest, thorax, vagina, spinal canal, face, brain and extremities.

Physicians usually have to perform a second surgery to remove left items because they can cause complications including infections, tears and obstructions.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent victims of surgical malpractice and medical negligence and the family of those who have died. With our help, you may be able to obtain compensation for your damages including medical costs, loss of wages and for pain and suffering.


CNN Health Hospital: Drill-bit piece accidentally left in patient’s head
Posted: October 14, 2010
Related Posts:

University of Washington surgeons to use checklist in surgery to avoid errors

How not to be a medical malpractice victim

Hospital mistake causes more than 200 patients to receive radiation over dose

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.

For current articles relating to motor vehicle accidents, see Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, which is also presented by The Farber Law Group.