Given the current circumstances, our office staff will primarily be working remotely. We will have a reduced number of people on site from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Our staff will still be responding to emails and phone calls and continuing to do the necessary things to care for our clients. We ask that if you do not need to visit our office in person, you stay home and contact us via telephone or email. We are still here to serve and hope that everyone stays safe and healthy.

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Harris powers* & cunningham
Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death Attorneys
Phoenix Injury Attorneys
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Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death Attorneys
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Surgical instruments left in patients, a terrifyingly common problem

When facing a surgery you have enough to worry about without fretting over whether or not the hospital staff will leave a foreign object inside you. The horror of an object left behind is referred to as “retained surgical instruments,” and it happens frequently enough to be a real concern. An estimated 4,500 to 6,000 cases occur each year.

Camouflaged utensils

The most common items left behind are sponges and needles, but clamps and tools can be forgotten as well. Sponges and towels used to soak up blood are often overlooked because they blend in with organs. Due to their porous and absorbent nature, sponges and towels are actually the most dangerous retained foreign object. They soak up fluids and begin to deteriorate, which can cause painful infections and tissue damage.

Barcodes and radio frequency

To prevent human error, hospitals have barcoded tools and sponges. The items are scanned before the surgery and re-scanned afterwards so all items are accounted for.  The items are visible in an x-ray and the patient is x-rayed in the operating room before the surgery is completed. This is of little comfort, however, because of how often those procedures break down.

Even with tracking systems in place, you’re still at risk as a patient. If you were injured due to negligent care you may feel vulnerable and unsure of how to proceed, but you have right to hold the medical staff accountable for their mistakes.

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Wrongful death of young mother due to delay in diagnosis…
$9,750,000
Failure to diagnose and treat infant resulting in permanent injuries to infant.
$5,875,000
Wrongful death of young mother with 2 minor children due to multiple…
$5,000,000
Head-on collision with drunk driver resulting in brain injury…
$4,250,000
Permanent injuries to adult male in hospital after guidewire left…
$3,234,253
Wrongful death of young mother due to delay in diagnosis…
$9,750,000
Failure to diagnose and treat infant resulting in permanent injuries to infant.
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Thank you for your patience and understanding. I was impressed when we first met you, as I still am today, with how ethical and professional you are. I know we were very fortunate to have you representing us. I also want to thank your staff for all they have done. Please pass on our appreciation to anyone that had anything to do with our case. – LA
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I want to thank you for all your efforts on our behalf in settling our legal claim concerning my dad’s death. We’re grateful that we finally prevailed and are relieved to put it behind us now. But as gratifying as that has been, what remains with me the most is my deep gratitude for your compassionate..” – GG
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Thank you for your patience and understanding. I was impressed when we first met you, as I still am today, with how ethical and professional you are. I know we were very fortunate to have you representing us. I also want to thank your staff for all they have done. Please pass on our appreciation to anyone that had anything to do with our case. – LA
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I want to thank you for all your efforts on our behalf in settling our legal claim concerning my dad’s death. We’re grateful that we finally prevailed and are relieved to put it behind us now. But as gratifying as that has been, what remains with me the most is my deep gratitude for your compassionate..” – GG