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According to research from Johns Hopkins University, “never events”, or events that should never happen in surgery, occur at least 4,000 times annually in the United States. It also revealed that “never events” occurred more than 80,000 times between 1990 and 2010.

According to research from Johns Hopkins University, “never events”, or events that should never happen in surgery, occur at least 4,000 times annually in the United States. It also revealed that “never events” occurred more than 80,000 times between 1990 and 2010.

It is estimated that foreign objects such as sponges and towels, are left behind by surgeons inside their patients about 39 times every week. Additionally, surgeons perform the wrong procedure or operate on the wrong body part approximately 20 times a week. Published in Surgery, these findings reveal the true extent of how prevalent “never events” are in hospitals by analyzing national medical malpractice claims.

Surgical errorsare mistakes during surgery that can be prevented. An element of risk is involved in all surgeries. Due to this reason, signing a form is typically required before you undergo surgery that states that you understand that there are certain known risks in surgery. This is known as “informed consent“.

Examples of Surgical Errors

There is a wide range of types of surgical errors that can occur. The most common ones are as follows:

· Injury to a nerve during surgery

· Incisions at the wrong locations

· Anesthesia error, i.e. administering too little or too much medication

· Leaving behind a piece of surgical equipment or foreign object, such as an instrument or sponge, inside a patient

· Performing surgery on the wrong body part

· Performing surgery on the wrong patient

Leaving a Piece of Surgical Equipment

Other than removing the wrong organ, one of the more damaging things that a surgeon can do is leave foreign objects inside a patient. While such cases are rare, this error can cause quite a bit of harm apart from pain, suffering – abscesses, obstructions, intestinal fistulas, visceral perforations, additional surgeries, and even death.

According to studies, “retained surgical items” occur once in every 5,500 to 7,000 surgical procedures. The National Center for Health Statistics reveals that in 2010, 51.4 million in-patient procedures were performed across the country. It is estimated by authors of a new study that two of such incidents take place in a typical hospital every year.

Costly Consequences

According to data compiled by Medicare, hospitalizations that involve a lost instrument or sponge average over $60,000. Several research studies show that the average cost of related malpractice suits on hospitals is between $100,000 and $200,000 per case.

According to a landmark report on the quality of healthcare from a decade ago, lost instruments and sponges ranked in the most serious division of medical errors. Issued by a congressionally funded non-profit, the National Quality Forum, the report stated the urgency of taking immediate steps to drive down the rate of such incidences, including mandatory reporting to track cases.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a surgery error that left a foreign object inside your body, you should seek the help of reliable medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff,& Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000. At a free consultation, you can discuss the best steps to take to bring a successful malpractice claim against your surgeon.

Never events need to be handled. This is where RMFW Law should come into the picture for you. We know this arena. We have been winning cases like this for years. Give us a call, what do you have to say?