Surgical never events a common danger for patients in Pennsylvania

Surgical never events, or medical mistakes that are considered avoidable, may cause patients to suffer additional or worsened medical conditions.

People throughout Pennsylvania often need surgical intervention to repair internal damage, relieve certain symptoms or address other conditions. When patients undergo surgeries, they trust in their surgeons to be focused on the procedure they are performing and to use good judgment. All too often, however, surgical mistakes occur. These mistakes, which can cause patients worsened, or further, medical problems, are frequently preventable.

Surgical errors that are preventable are commonly known as surgical never events. This is because such events are generally believed to be completely avoidable. As such, they should never happen. Medical Daily reports that approximately one out of every 12,000 patients falls victim to a surgical never event.

Common surgical never events

There are numerous errors, which may be considered surgical never events. Some of the most common of these medical mistakes include the following:

  • Air embolisms
  • Performing a procedure on the wrong patient
  • Wrong-site surgeries
  • Unintentional retained foreign objects
  • Performing incorrect procedures

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, using contaminated devices or administering contaminated medications may fit into this category of medical errors. In some cases, the development of pressure ulcers and patient falls may also be considered never events. If proper care is taken, these types of medical mistakes are generally conserved preventable.

How do preventable surgical mistakes occur?

Surgical never events can result from a range of factors. According to a Huffington Post report, ineffective communication is one of the leading causes of surgical errors. Furthermore, failing to establish or follow proper safety protocols may also lead to these types of mistakes.

Due to the long shift hours that surgeons and hospital staff often work, fatigue commonly contributes to these types of mistakes. Even the time of day when a surgical procedure is performed may play a part in causing surgical errors. While surgeons have a responsibility to stay focused on their task while performing a procedure, distractions can, and do occur in the operating room. As a result, mistakes may occur.

What complications are caused by surgical errors?

Patients may suffer any number of effects as a result of surgical never events. These types of medical mistakes often cause broken bones, infections and other serious ailments. This may cause patients to require further medical treatment and care, including additional procedures. In some cases, those who fall victim to surgical never events may not survive.

Working with an attorney

Patients, and their families, in Pennsylvania often incur undue expenses as a result of surgical never events. This may include lost income, medical expenses or funerary costs. When a medical mistake may have been avoided, the physician or facility may be held liable. Therefore, patients who have been the victims of surgical errors may benefit from seeking legal counsel. An attorney may help them understand if a surgical never event occurred, as well as their options for pursing financial compensation.

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