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What Are Surgical Never Events?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2017 | Surgical Errors

In 2001, the term “never event” was coined in reference to a vast amount of medical errors, such as wrong-site surgeries, which should absolutely never occur. As of 2011, the list of never events consists of 29 events, grouped into 7 categories. These events often result in either devastating or even fatal consequences and necessitated a need for a safe surgery checklist that, if followed, can minimize the risk of such egregious mistakes.

According to the National Quality Forum (NQF), the following are considered surgical never events:

  • Retention of a foreign body in a patient following a surgical procedure
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • The wrong surgery performed on a patient
  • Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death in an otherwise healthy patient
  • Maternal death from post-partum hemorrhage after an elective C-section

These never events are not only labeled as such because of the great pain and suffering they cause to patients and their families, but because they are often clearly preventable and identifiable. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), poor communication is often the cause of these events. If an overseeing medical team were more engaged, the chance of catching these errors could increase, saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

Unfortunately, these events still happen. A 2013 study estimated that 1 out of every 12,000 procedures results in a never event. Overall, these medical errors claim between 210,000 and 400,000 live every year. This is a massive increase from the numbers cited in 1999, which were between 44,000 and 98,000. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a surgical never event, you must seek the skilled and experienced legal representation of a medical malpractice attorney to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Surgical Errors in Indiana

At Langer & Langer, our Indiana medical malpractice attorneys understand the trauma and pain experienced by those who have sustained injuries at the hands of a negligent healthcare practitioner. Our legal team will stand by you and fight for your right to obtain the compensation you need and deserve during this difficult time.

Contact our office today at 219-246-4759 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for pursuing legal actions.