A foreign body is not a UFO or an illegal immigrant. Legally speaking, a foreign body is something where it doesn’t belong.

For example:
– a catheter used to place a stent to your heart, found years later in your lung
– a sponge left in your stomach after surgery that becomes infected
– a needle left in patient’s neck after back or spinal surgery causing severe arm and neck pain
– a needle left in a woman’s pelvic area after childbirth, found years later

Although surgeons are asked to keep track of all items used during surgery (Surgical Count) foreign bodies are often left after surgery. Metal, sponge and cloth does not do very well in humans and often causes problems including infection and additional injury.

Unlike traditional Medical Malpractice cases, foreign body cases in Virginia must be filed within 1 year of discovery of the foreign body.

That means – you have to consult an attorney and investigate your lawsuit options, as soon as you know about the foreign body and the consequences thereof.

In 2006, a Northern Virginia judge dismissed a case under Virginia statute of limitations because a woman who knew as of the end of February 2003 that a surgical needle had been left in her body after she received an episiotomy during childbirth in 1996, she failed to file her medical malpractice action until March 12, 2004. She was only 1 month past the statute, but the case was dismissed as a matter of law.

Frith Law firm can quickly review and analyze your Foreign body case before the statute of limitations runs.

About the author

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at

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