Surgical errors can cause significant damages and harm to victims. They are oftentimes referred to as never events because they should never happen. Never events point to serious underlying safety problems and medical care providers responsible for them may also be liable to victims for their damages.
Common surgical errors
Three common examples of surgical errors include wrong-site surgery, the wrong surgery being performed or surgery on the wrong patient. Another common surgical error is leaving an object, such as a sponge, in the patient.
Greater than 4,000 preventable surgical errors occur each year. It is estimated never events occurred approximately 10,000 times from 1990 to 2010. It is further estimated that each week a surgeon leaves a foreign object in a patient 39 times; performs the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times; and operates on the wrong site of the body 20 times.
Undergoing surgery on the wrong area of the body, undergoing the wrong procedure or undergoing a procedure intended for another patient can be traumatic for the victim and can result in serious harm and even death in some instances. About two-thirds of the time, surgical errors resulted in injury, one-third of the time in permanent injuries; and 6.6% of the time they result in death.
Medical malpractice legal resources can help injured victims recover compensation for their damages and can also help surviving family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a surgical error. For that reason, victims and their families should be familiar with the legal resources protecting them.