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Are Never Events Common in Surgery?

The Lancione Law Firm

Never events are events that, as their name indicates, should never happen. The sad reality of these events is that they are named because they do occur, and hospitals want to put a stop to them. If you’ve been hurt by a never event, you may be working with your attorney to seek compensation. These informational highlights may help build your case.

First, did you know that there are around 80 never events that take place each week in the United States? That means that around 80 patients suffer from unnecessary mistakes like surgical errors. These events are “silly” mistakes; they are things like forgetting sponges in patients or performing a surgery on the wrong side of the body.

What causes these events? Most often, it’s a lack of good paperwork or record keeping. If a surgeon enters a surgical room and knows he or she has three sponges, then he or she, along with others, should be counting them as they’re removed from a patient. When all three are removed, they can be checked off.

While these simple tasks could prevent injuries, they don’t always happen. Between 1990 and 2010, researchers discovered close to 10,000 never events. Those are just the events that had been reported or recorded. For those cases, the victims received $1.3 billion in settlements, but what is more disturbing is the fact that around 90 percent of those who have suffered these injuries receive no payments at all. Considering this, you can find that there are around 4,082 surgical never events each year, a number much higher than the 10,000 cases reported.

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