Surgical Errors & “Never Events”

Never Events , Surgical Errors. Medical Malpractice.

New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Representing Victims of Never Events.

A “never events” in medical care is a medical errors that should never occur. Ken Kizer, MD coined the term in 2001 in response to a few particularly shocking medical errors presented to the National Quality Forum (NQF). The NQF now identifies 29 separate events, ranging in classification from surgical never events to criminal never events.

The most prevalent never events as of 2011 are:

  • Wrong-site surgery (867 incidents)
  • Suicide in a health care facility (770 incidents)
  • Op/post-op complication (710 incidents)
  • Delay in treatment (536 incidents)
  • Medication error (526 incidents)
  • Patient fall (406 incidents)

What are surgical never events?

Surgical never events is something that occurs during surgery that is grossly outside the accepted standard of care. These errors do not include surgeries that are unsuccessful even though the doctor did everything in his power to perform the operation.

The NQF, as of 2011, recognizes the following as surgical never events:

  • Surgery on the wrong body part/wrong-site surgery
  • Surgery on the wrong patient
  • Wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient
  • Retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery (e.g., surgeon leaves a surgical sponge in a patient)
  • Intraoperative or immediately postoperative/postprocedure death in an American Society of Anesthesiologists Class I patient

According to research from Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), surgical never events occur approximately 4,000 times or more per year. JHM’s safety researchers found that medical providers leave a foreign object like a surgical sponge or towel inside patients’ bodies approximately 39 times a week. Medical providers perform wrong procedures and wrong site surgeries on patients 20 times a week each.

Tips for Preventing Surgical Errors and “Never Events”

As a patient, you have the right to have a say in every aspect of your care. Prior to the surgery, make sure your doctor has answered all of your questions. Bringing an advocate such as a friend or family member along can help you catch errors you may have otherwise missed.

When you meet your surgical team, ask if staff members if:

they take “time outs” during procedures to make sure everything is correct?

Who will be attending the time out and whether or not someone else should be attending?

(e.g., certain members of the team may not attend the time out if they are “double covering” other procedures.)

Prior to surgery, make sure the team marks or otherwise identifies the site of the surgery and confirms you are the correct patient. If at any point anything seems wrong, speak up. Always feel free to ask questions twice; do not feel intimidated.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers NYC prosecuting medical mistakes

If you believe you were the victim of a never events, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer of The Rybak Firm, PLLC can help. We can help you obtain your medical records, secure expert testimony, manage negotiations with the doctor’s insurer, and represent you in court if necessary.

Our firm offers free case evaluations and work on a contingency basis so you do not pay us a cent unless we win your case. Contact us at (718) 307-5554 to schedule your evaluation.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Near Me

Our offices are located in Brooklyn, NY.  Although our offices are in Brooklyn, NY we serve the whole NYC Metro Area and represent clients in every borough of New York City. Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers are able to travel to you if you are unable to meet at our offices. We also provide free transportation to and from our offices.

Our office address is:

1810 Voorhies Ave

Suite #7

Brooklyn, NY 11235

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