Medical Malpractice "Never Events"
When we go to a hospital, the hope is that we will receive the treatment necessary to either heal from some kind of injury or recover from an illness. We don’t really think of the potential that something can go wrong and that we can be harmed when receiving care. Unfortunately, this is the reality for a number of people. In fact, one recent study cites medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States. As such, it is critical to understand the things that can go wrong when undergoing surgery and how they can impact the patient. These incidences are often referred to as “never events.”
Never events are the things that can occur during surgery, but never should, because of the harm that can arise. They are preventable actions. If they occur, the surgeon, hospital, or anyone who may be responsible should be held accountable for their negligence. At The Pittman Firm, P.A., our Panama City medical malpractice attorney wants individuals to understand some of these never events and know what rights they have if one occurs. Below, you will find a list of some of the never events that can occur, how they may happen, and the ways in which the patient is at risk of injury.
Operating On the Wrong Patient
One of the most common never events occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong patient. It may arise when the communications or systems within a hospital are not up to standard and incorrect information is provided to the rest of the staff. When someone is operated on, but they were not supposed to undergo surgery, it can cause complications that were unnecessary. This usually happens when the patient’s chart incorrectly lists a need for surgery when the patient really needs some other type of treatment.
Operating On the Wrong Body Part
Similar to when the doctor operates on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong body part is often attributed by incorrect information provided on the patient’s chart. For instance, if the patient needs surgery on the right shoulder, but the doctor performs the operation on the left shoulder, this is negligence and is inexcusable. If this happens, not only will the patient still suffer from the pain he or she already has, but there may be complications from the incorrect surgery that could affect another part of the patient’s body.
Leaving a Foreign Object in a Patient
Doctors performing surgery have to keep track of a number of factors during and after the procedure. With so many tools and pieces of equipment used in and around the patient, it is important to make sure everything is accounted for throughout the operation. Leaving a foreign object inside of the patient is a never event that could increase the risk of infection and worsen an already difficult situation for the patient. It is crucial that doctors and the nursing staff make sure all items are accounted for and that nothing is left inside of the patient once their surgical wound is closed up.
Take Action with a Panama City Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you have been harmed during surgery because of a never event, you should take action against the negligent party. This can include the surgeon, the operating room staff, or the hospital. Make sure you have someone on your side who can guide you down the complex legal path and help you seek fair compensation. Our firm is ready to help you reach the successful resolution you desire when you are facing such a difficult time.
Retain the counsel you need. Call The Pittman Firm, P.A. today.