Have you been the victim of a surgical ‘never event?’
Having surgery requires that you put a lot of faith in to someone’s professional skills. They must act with precision, maintain a sterile environment and catch any issues, like excessive bleeding, quickly in order to keep you safe. While most surgeries are successful with no major complications, some surgeries have major issues.
The surgeon could make a mistake so extreme that other professionals classify it as a “never event.” A surgical never event is a mistake that reasonable care and attention would always prevent. What kinds of mistakes constitute a surgical never event?
Surgeons might perform the wrong surgery or operate on the wrong body part
Before you go back for your procedure, the surgeon might have you mark your skin with a permanent marker to ensure that they operate on the right part of your body. What seems like an unnecessary, even ridiculous, precaution is there to protect you from the more common never events.
Roughly 20 patients each week come out of surgery to discover that the surgeon operated on the wrong part of their body. Another 20 people every week will learn that the surgeon didn’t even perform the right procedure.
Surgeons sometimes do leave things behind in patients
A patient coming out of surgery with something left in their incision is more common than you probably realize. Roughly 40 times a week, surgeons leave behind tools, gauze or other items that don’t belong inside the human body when closing an incision. The patients in these cases may have to undergo a second surgery and have risks for both traumatic injury and infection because of a surgical mistake.
Anyone affected by these three never events could potentially seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.