Drill-Bit Piece Left in Patient's Head Leaves Prominent Hospital with Headache

A prominent Rhode Island hospital says a piece of a medical drill bit was accidentally left in a patient’s head during a procedure, which broke off and was not accounted for at the end of the procedure, and later had to be removed. The hospital says it has suspended the doctor and operating-room team involved.  The drill bit “was subsequently identified through diagnostic imaging,” removed from the patient two days after the original procedure and the patient went home.  The hospital made a statement that, “As with any unanticipated outcome, we have apologized to the patient and have conducted a full investigation.”  The hospital cited doctor-patient confidentiality and did not identify the doctor or the patient, or release other further details.  An investigation by the Providence Journal newspaper has cited other incidents involving the hospital; in particular, six “wrong-side” surgeries since 2001.  Read More

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) has two regulatory functions: setting standards and conducting inspections to ensure that employers are providing safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA standards may require that employers adopt certain practices, means, methods, or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job. Employers must become familiar with the standards applicable to their establishments and eliminate hazards.  The Act encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health programs. OSHA approves and monitors these “state plans,” which operate under the authority of state law. There are currently 27 OSHA State Plan States, of which 22 states and jurisdictions operate complete state plans (covering both the private sector and state and local government employees) and four (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands) that cover state and local government employees only.  Read More

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC, are devoted to helping clients who have been injured by untrained employees or injured by the failure of employers to put strict safety standards in place for their employees to follow. If you or someone you know has been faced with such an issue, please contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-888-585-4658.