Surgical never events are preventable medical mistakes, which could result in additional ailments, worsened conditions or death for surgical patients.
None of us want to have surgery but if we need it, we want it to go well and we want to be able to trust our doctor and the hospital to take good care of us and cure our medical problem. In fact, the law requires doctors and hospitals to observe what is called the "standard of care" to make sure that all surgery patients receive the best care possible up to the highest level expected and required of any doctor or hospital.
Unfortunately, surgical mistakes too commonly occur and these types of errors cause patients to suffer additional health problems or worsen medical ailments, cause permanent injury or even death. As a surgery patient, you have a legal right to expect that this will not happen to you, that you will not become the victim of malpractice or medical negligence and that you will receive only the best care during your surgery.
Many surgical errors that equal what the law considers to be medical malpractice are preventable. These types of mistakes are often referred to as "never events" because it is widely held that they should never happen. However, surgery patients across the U.S. experience these surgical "never events" approximately 80 times per week, according to American Medical News.
Top preventable surgery errors in Ohio Hospitals
There are a number of surgical mistakes that are categorized as "never events" and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that some of most common preventable errors include the following:
• Performing the procedure on the wrong body part
• Performing the procedure on the wrong patient
• Performing the wrong procedure
• Unintentionally leaving objects, such as surgical sponges, in patients
Furthermore, using devices that are contaminated or administering contaminated medications may also be considered surgical "never events." These and similar medical mistakes are considered avoidable if surgeons and staff take proper care. To not take proper care is medical malpractice under the law and you as the patient have a legal right to expect better from your doctor and hospital during your surgery.
What causes surgical mistakes in Ohio Hospitals?
There are numerous factors which may contribute to the occurrence of these "never events" of medical malpractice. They are:
When performing surgical procedures, the surgeons, staff and other medical professionals treating patients have a responsibility to maintain their focus; however, distractions can and do occur and this is a major cause of surgical mistakes.
Not observing safety protocols
Neglecting to establish or comply with safety protocols during surgery may also lead to these types of surgical mishaps and life threatening medical errors. Doctors and hospitals have a duty to establish these safety rules and to follow them so these malpractice "never events" in fact never occur.
Fatigue is also a very common factor in surgical "never events" and medical malpractice during surgery. This is often due to the long shifts that surgeons and hospital staff work. In my many years of law practice I have witnessed that the time of day often contributes greatly in causing preventable surgical mistakes to happen. For example, a surgeon may be more likely to make a mistake late at night or at the end of a long shift, than in the morning or being fully rested and alert.
How to spot complications from surgical malpractice
Due to this type of medical malpractice, many Ohio patients experience a range of medical symptoms when these "never events" happen. If after your surgery you have a strong feeling that something is just not right, or you have unusual pain or notice your doctor or nurses being evasive when you ask questions, it is correct to trust your instincts. Immediate further testing or a second medical opinion may be urgently needed so do not delay if you think something is wrong and you are not getting proper answers from your surgeon or the hospital staff.
The result of these "never events" of medical malpractice may include infections, broken bones and other serious ailments and as a result, surgical patients may require immediate further medical treatment and care, which may include undergoing additional surgical procedures. The complications caused by preventable surgical mistakes may lead to temporary or permanent disability, as well as death for some patients, so be on the lookout for anything unusual immediately after your surgery.
We all make mistakes
We all make mistakes and nobody wants to believe that their doctor made a mistake. And while doctors and hospital workers are only human, the law says that it is their legal duty to you as a patient to establish and observe safety rules that eliminate the chances of the surgical mishaps that should never happen, from happening to you.
You put yourself in their hands when you submit to surgery and you are trusting that they are rested, focused and have rules in place to give you the highest level of care during your surgery. The most important thing is your health and the law says that if mistakes are made during surgery that cause you injury, pain and suffering, you deserve compensation to help you recover from a mistake that was not your fault.
Don't wait to seek medical advice and legal advice
If you believe you or someone you love has experienced one of these surgical "never events" or has complications from surgery, do not delay. Seek medical attention from another doctor immediately and make sure your life is not in danger.
Depending on the circumstances, the law says that your surgeon and the hospital where the procedures were performed could be held financially liable.
You have a legal right to expect good and proper care from your surgeon and we will make sure the rights of all of our clients are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.