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Thousands of Surgical Instruments are Left in Patients Each Year

Posted on Sep 18, 2012

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggests that approximately 1,500 patients at American hospitals each year are left with a piece of equipment inside of them after a surgical procedure, according to nationally renowned physician Joseph Mercola.

The latest airing of the documentary series entitled ‘When Surgical Tools Get Left Behind’ on the Discovery Fit & Health channel has helped to make the general public more aware of this preventable type of medical malpractice.

In hopes of better educating the American public, Seattle medical malpractice attorney Chris Davis is encouraging patients to be their own advocates when it comes to complex forms of treatment.

“When it comes to your health, you are your own best advocate. You must take control and be proactive,” said Davis. “Ask questions, take notes, follow-up with your doctors and demand accountability from the medical profession.”

Recent data suggests that medical mistakes, such as a surgical souvenir, are one of the most frequent culprits for accidental fatalities in the United States. According to, a Millennium Research Group (MRG) study indicated that medical errors are the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 100,000 fatalities each year.

“The main cause for surgical tools left in patients is human error such as a surgeon who is distracted or rushed,” said Seattle medical malpractice attorney Chris Davis. “Although most hospitals require that surgeons write a detailed post-operative medical report describing the surgery that was performed, typically surgical errors are not reported.”

This data, Davis says, means medical malpractice is practically inevitable in today’s world. That makes a patient’s self-advocacy even more vital to ensuring they receive the care they deserve.

Davis, who has personally handled a number of medical malpractice cases in his home state of Washington, provides numerous resources that explain the ins-and-outs of medical mistakes on his website at

About Chris Davis

Christopher M. Davis, founder of the Davis Law Group, has been a licensed attorney in the state of Washington since 1993. He has tried dozens of personal injury cases to verdict and has successfully handled and resolved hundreds of accident claims. He has been a Washington Super Lawyer' for seven years in a row for his expertise and success in litigating personal injury claims. You can learn more about the firm by visiting: