Surgery can be a frightening experience. Most patients are not informed of the potential for gross medical negligence, which may be a possibility in any procedure. While patients may receive pre-operative information to prepare for surgery, they don’t receive instructions on how to prepare for surgical errors that may occur.
Many types of errors have been labeled “never events” because they shouldn’t ever happen. These errors include surgery on the wrong patient, foreign objects left in patients’ bodies or surgery on the wrong body part.
Although these never events are preventable, they are a reality. According to a Johns Hopkins study, a surgeon in the U.S. leaves a foreign object inside a patient 39 times a week, performs the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week and performs surgery on the wrong site 20 times a week. In the event you’re a victim of one of these never events, surgical error lawyers can help you recover damages.
Types of Surgical Errors
There are many types of surgical errors. Some are the result of medical malpractice, while some may be unpreventable. Some examples of never events that may occur in the operating room are below.
- Wrong procedure/patient: When a medical team fails to review a patient’s chart properly or fails to identify a patient being taken into surgery, the surgical team may perform surgery on the wrong patient. An example would be when Patient A’s roommate is taken into surgery for a splenectomy scheduled to be performed on Patient A. In this case, the roommate may receive an unnecessary medical procedure that leaves him or her without a vital organ.
- Foreign objects: It is almost unbelievable to think that a medical professional could leave behind a foreign object in an open body cavity, but it does happen. For example, a sponge used to clean the surgical area could be inadvertently left behind and could go unnoticed by the surgeon suturing up the incision. Infection, pain and other complications have resulted from such errors.
- Wrong site surgery: It is up to the medical team to review a patient’s medical records and properly mark the location for surgery. It is also the responsibility of the surgeon to review the patient’s medical history and confirm the procedure is properly planned and completed. When a medical team fails to prepare or communicate properly, surgery on the wrong side of the body or wrong body part can result.
Review the details of the incident with surgical error lawyers to go over the circumstances and identify liability.
Surgical Never Events & Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice applies to cases when a patient sustains harm as the result of substandard or negligent care. In some cases, it is difficult to prove that the care was of a lower standard than would have been received from another, similarly credentialed medical team -- or that the surgeon, physician or medical staff was negligent or incompetent. However, proving negligence may be simplified. If an error is 100 percent preventable and it occurred anyway, there must be some type of negligence involved.
If you’ve been harmed by a never event in a surgical procedure, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. Qualified surgical mistake lawyers can help organize documentation and file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Call the Surgical Error Lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC
Cordisco & Saile LLC is dedicated to helping victims of negligent medical care. We can help determine the best course of action for your case and will advise you regarding your legal rights. Contact our surgical error lawyers at 215-642-2335 or contact us online to review your legal options.