January 29, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- It is a truth universally acknowledged that surgery is something no one wants to go through. However, if it is necessary, patients rightfully expect that the surgeon will exhibit the level of vigilance and competence necessary to make the operation go smoothly and error-free.
Unfortunately, a recent study confirms that certain types of surgical errors
that surgeons agree should never happen--called "never events"--actually happen more often than you would believe. Never events include egregious mistakes such as accidentally leaving medical tools or equipment in the body, operating on the wrong body part (or wrong patient) or carrying out the wrong surgical procedure.
The study, recently published in the journal Surgery, analyzed medical malpractice claims between 2004 and 2010. It found that never events happen quite frequently--about 500 times per year. The study found that nearly half of these mistakes were retained foreign objects
--most commonly a surgical sponge. Most of the other half involved surgeons operating on the wrong body part or performing the wrong procedure. Frighteningly, 17 of the 500 mistakes involved the surgeon operating on the wrong person.
Not surprisingly, the study found that these flagrant surgical errors often ended up costing patients much more than money or inconvenience. Fifty-nine percent of patients who were the victim of never events were left with a temporary injury and 33 percent with a permanent injury. About 6.6 percent of patients lost their lives due to this type of surgical error--most of whom had received the wrong procedure.
The study also gathered data about the type of doctors who are most likely to experience never events. It found that doctors who had previously been sued for malpractice were more likely to make an additional serious medical error in the future. In addition, younger and inexperienced doctors exhibited a much higher rate of never events.
Consult an attorney
Ohio law requires surgeons to provide a generally accepted standard of medical care. If it is proven by expert testimony that a surgeon's conduct fell below the generally accepted standard, the surgeon is legally considered to be negligent and can be held liable for damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other losses.
Although technology, checklists and other safeguards have been implemented in hospitals across the nation to safeguard against never events, it is unlikely that the risk of such an event will ever be eradicated. If you or a loved one have been injured by a preventable medical error, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can assist you in recovering all compensation due to you under the law.
Article provided by Novak Pavlik Deliberato LLP
Visit us at www.nrplaw.com---
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