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Surgical sponges left in man's body for four years

One central Illinois man was shocked to discover the cause of his ongoing discomfort and pain after surgery: two surgical sponges left behind. The man received his first operation in May 2014, but long after the procedure, he experienced shortness of breath, high fevers and other signs that indicated an infection. Despite receiving antibiotics and other treatment, the symptoms would return, and doctors were unsure of the cause of his recurrent illness.

However, after receiving a CT scan in April 2018, the man received an urgent call from his medical team asking him to come in right away. The scan's image had revealed the medical objects left in his body four years before. While physicians said that symptoms usually show up within two years, in the man's case, it took four years to discover the medical error. His symptoms worsened as the sponges began to disintegrate inside his body. The man is warning other patients to be wary of the potential dangers of surgical errors.

In addition, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases raises concerns for patients like this man. In Illinois, patients can bring a malpractice claim within two years of learning of the medical mistake. However, the claim must also be filed within four years of the occurrence. In the man's case, he only discovered the issue just within the limitations period. However, it may be possible to continue to raise a claim if a patient continues to see a doctor for discomfort or symptoms after the original erroneous surgery.

Patients who are experiencing problems after a surgery or other treatment may learn that they too have been the victims of a serious medical error. A medical malpractice attorney might work with injured patients to assess their case and determine if there is the possibility for legal action.

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