Medical Malpractice Study Shows Surgical "Never Events" Occur More Than 10 Times a Day

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

11 Feb. 2013

Patient safety researchers from Johns Hopkins have recently published a medical malpractice study, in the online journal "Surgery", which details their prudent, yet arduous analysis into malpractice claims across the nation. During their study, the researchers uncovered the fact that surgeons throughout the United States, regardless of their surgical specialty, are leaving foreign objects inside patients after operations. In fact, their study revealed objects like sponges and towels are being left inside patients' bodies on an average of 39 times a week. Incorrect medical procedures are being done more than 20 times a week, and operations on the wrong body part are happening approximately 20 times a week. That means "never events" are occurring more than 10 times a day, or at least 4,000 times a year.

Mistakes such as these are called "never events" as there is a universal professional agreement that these types of incidents should never take place during surgery. Of course some medical mistakes are not 100% preventable, such as even when everyone washes their hands, uses antiseptic or antibacterial products, and maintains a fully sterile environment, infections can still occur. Medical errors like "never events", however, are 100% preventable and the Johns Hopkins study is proving to be a much-needed reminder there is a lot of work that has yet to be done when it comes to the safety of patients.

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which is a federal repository of medical malpractice claims, was used during the study to help researchers positively identify both malpractice judgments and out-of-court malpractice settlements pertaining to "never events" over a 20 year period. Identifying these types of events in order to improve safety measures and prevent such mistakes from taking place is vital because this study revealed an estimated 59.2 percent of patients sustained temporary injuries, while 32.9 percent sustained permanent injuries and 6.6 percent died as a result of a "never event". It should also be noted that the afore-mentioned study brought to light the fact that 62% of the surgeons cited in the reviewed malpractice claims, had been cited on more than one occasion.

If you have reason to believe you have become the victim of a "never event" that occurred in a New Jersey Hospital or medical facility, we strongly advise you contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law in order to discuss your case and review your legal options. As the victim of medical malpractice, you have rights. Our firm is here to advise you of those rights and provide you with the aggressive representation you need to protect those rights.

Contact a Bergen County personal injury attorney at our firm today to find out how we can help you.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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