"Never events," the name given to incidents that medical professionals agree should never happen, actually do. A study from Johns Hopkins Hospital shows they occur over 300 times per month. The researchers reviewed medical malpractice reports compiled over approximately 20 years. The results showed "never events" don't live up to their name.
What are examples of "never events"? When it comes to medical malpractice, there are several examples. One, forgetting a surgical tool inside the patient's body, which can lead to infection and potentially death if not discovered and treated quickly. Two, wrong-site surgeries, which are events where a physician may operate on the left eye when the right eye required surgery. Yet another example of a "never event" is when a doctor performs the wrong surgery. Let's say a patient is admitted for heart surgery, but afterwards they discover their gall bladder was removed. All of these events should never happen. They seem so outrageous that healthcare providers have all agreed these incidents need to be called "never events."
A few upsetting figures that researchers discovered from analyzing the data:
- A surgeon leaves a foreign object inside a patient’s body 39 times a week
- The wrong procedure is performed 20 times a week
- A doctor operates on the wrong body site 20 times a week
- About 1 out of 10 doctors (12.4%) were named in surgical never events
- Read more surgical error statistics
This type of negligence is the cause of significant pain and suffering experienced by innocent people. A patient recovering from surgery is vulnerable--a patient recovering from a 'never event' is probably experiencing discomfort and will most likely need additional surgical correction, which means medical treatment costs go up, recovery time is longer, and innocent people are kept out of work and lose important pay checks.
When something like this happens, the victim of malpractice in North Carolina or their family members representing them need to consult with medical malpractice attorneys. Consultations with medical malpractice attorneys are free, and individuals who believe they have a malpractice case should gather as much information as possible. Take time to learn about North Carolina medical malpractice law. The NC statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is one year from the date of discovery. You don't have a long time, but you have enough time to meet with a lawyer. Use the time to learn your rights and request a complimentary copy of North Carolina medical malpractice lawyer Brent Adams' book The Truth About Medical Malpractice Claims.