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After surgery, you could still have medical devices inside you

There are a lot of things that can go wrong during a surgery, from being given the wrong medication to physical mistakes a doctor makes during the process. Unfortunately, even after you're out the door and on your way home in Illinois, you can't be fully relaxed, confident that everything went well.

Doctors could have left medical tools, devices and instruments behind. Those could still be inside your body.

To a lot of people, this sounds like a terrifying thing that will never happen. While it's true that it should never happen—which is why these things are called "never events" in the medical community—it actually happens a lot. Experts claim there are thousands of these events in the United States every year. In fact, this happens more than 12 times every single day, studies show.

The results can be horrific and require extensive hospitalization. For example, one woman went in to have a cesarean section when she was pregnant. It was a success and her child was healthy, but the woman didn't feel well. Even though she was not pregnant anymore, her stomach kept swelling up. Eventually, things got so bad that she went in to be checked, and it was discovered that the surgeon had left a sponge behind. It was the source of the swelling and discomfort.

A sponge does sound better than a metal surgical tool, but it still required an entire second surgery and then weeks of treatment while she recovered just to get her back in good health again.

Never events may be more common than you think, and you need to know your rights if one happens to you.

Source: USA Today, "What surgeons leave behind costs some patients dearly," Peter Eisler, accessed Nov. 12, 2015

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