Retained Sponge or Retained Object Cases |
Retained object in xray of lungs

Retained Sponge or Retained Object Cases

Have you been diagnosed with a retained sponge or a retained object following surgery? Typically, medical facilities and staff are required to keep a count on all of the medical devices and tools that are…

Have you been diagnosed with a retained sponge or a retained object following surgery? Typically, medical facilities and staff are required to keep a count on all of the medical devices and tools that are used in an operating room and/or during a procedure. Sometimes, due to negligence, they miss a device or tool and do not realize that the object may still be inside of the patient.

Whenever a healthcare facility fails to recognize a retained sponge or object inside of a patient, it is considered a breach in the standard of treatment that they owed to the patient. These situations are considered “never events”, because they are serious, largely preventable incidents that should not occur if the proper procedures and protocol are in place and followed.

A retained sponge or object is considered medical malpractice.

What is a “Retained Sponge?”

Of the 250-300 items that are used in a typical operation, sometimes something can be left behind – objects such as tweezers, scalpels, clamps and needles, but the most common object is a retained sponge or gauze. It is estimated that there are at least 4,000 cases a year where a surgeon has left an object behind in the body. Of this number, sponges account for ⅔ of the instruments left behind.

Common Types of Retained Sponge

As already mentioned, a retained sponge is the result of a surgical sponge being left in a person’s body after surgery – most commonly in abdominal surgery such as a C-Section, for example. If a sponge has been left in the body it can cause extreme complications such as:

  • Bowel Perforation
  • Abscess
  • Sepsis
  • Fistula
  • Infection
  • In extreme cases: Death

Symptoms of Retained Sponge

It is unclear how many times a year there is a retained sponge case in the United States. This is due in part to the fact that many patients who have sponges left inside of them do not feel any symptoms. Additionally, many people do not report their symptoms or associate them with the aftermath of their initial operation.

In some extreme cases, however, the symptoms can be excruciatingly painful and change an affected individual’s life forever. These symptoms may flare up straight after a surgical procedure, or not for a long time after – sometimes not until months, or even years later. These symptoms can vary and can also be somewhat inconsistent. Some patients have complained of extreme pain and discomfort in their pelvis or abdomen, sometimes accompanied with a hard lump near the pelvic area.

Retained Sponge or Object Attorneys

At, we know how distressing it is to fall victim to retained sponge following surgery. Often, another surgery is needed to remove the sponge or any damage the object has caused. Among all the emotional problems this conjures, it can also be a heavily financial burden.

That is why does not take any money from you unless unless and until a recovery is made on your behalf. We realize that this is an extremely trying and difficult time for you and your family, and we do not want the financial burden or costs associated with filing a lawsuit to add to your worries.

How Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help You

At, you can guarantee that your case will be handled with the utmost respect and dedication. Our lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you get the justice and compensation that you deserve. The attorneys at work solely on medical malpractice cases, which means you have an abundance of resources at your disposal.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a retained sponge or object being left after surgery, do not hesitate to contact for a free consultation today at 877-887-4850.

Meagan Cline

Written By Meagan Cline

Meagan Cline is a professional legal researcher and writer. She works alongside the team at to provide readers with up-to-date information relevant to the healthcare and legal industries.

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