Johns Hopkins University, one of the most prestigious schools in the United States, recently did a study to look at events that are called “never events”. These are things that should not, under any circumstance, happen during medical surgery. The results of this study were put out in the publication Surgery.
Those who saw the results may have been surprised to find that these events, despite their name, actually happen thousands of times each year. Estimates indicated that roughly 4,000 such events take place in any calendar year. To find this, the group looked at data starting all the way back in 1990 and running for the next two decades, up to 2010. There were about 80,000 total events.
A vast array of things can qualify as “never events.” For example, if a surgeon gets done with a procedure, closes up the patient, and then finds that he or she has forgotten to remove an item — like a sponge — this will qualify. The study showed that this was quite common, happening 29 times across the country in each week.
Another such event is when a surgeon does the operation, but he or she does it in the wrong location. This could include replacing a right hip instead of a left hip, for instance. This is not as common as leaving foreign items behind, but it does happen, according the study, about 20 times each week.
As you can see, these events are very real, and mistakes made by a negligent doctor can lead to serious injuries and complications. Be sure that you know your rights if this happens to you in Illinois.
Source: Medical News Today, “Surgical Errors Occur More Than 4,000 Times A Year In The U.S.” Joseph Nordqvist, Dec. 23, 2014