A recent article in the journal Surgery reports that so called “never events” happen at least 80 times per week in the U.S. – and that figure is believed to be an under-estimation of the true extent of the problem.
So what is a “never event”...
It’s a mistake that literally should never happen in surgery and includes physicians leaving surgical instruments in patients, allowing patients to awaken during surgery, performing surgery on the wrong patient, performing surgery on the wrong side of a patient, and more.
In addition to the devastating effects on patients, it is estimated that these “mistakes” carry an immense financial burden – as much as $1.3 billion over 20 years and surgeons of all ages are involved in these “never events”.
So why do these events occur when adherence to very simple procedures and checklists would reduce their occurrence to at or near zero?
A number of studies have shown that “never events” can be eliminated, or at least minimized, by putting better procedures in place that include presurgery briefings and marking the sites to be surgically addressed.
A national medical safety project called “No Thing Left Behind” has also introduced changes in the process of counting sponges and some hospitals have adopted new technologies (e.g., bar-coded sponges) to address the problem.
Sadly – medical mistakes and malpractice are the third leading cause of death in America. And the United States spends more per capita and a higher percentage of its GDP on healthcare than any other country in the world. The result… The U.S. ranks 29th in infant mortality (webmd.com) and 46th in life expectancy (WHO).
If you are ever the victim of medical malpractice call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over our more than 55 years serving the people of Connecticut.
What’s more, ten of our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers have been honored by inclusion in the 2012 New England Super Lawyers and Rising Stars… and the Hartford law firm of RisCassi & Davis is “Top Listed” in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® with the most listed attorneys representing injury victims in personal injury law in Hartford. The firm is also ranked a Tier 1 law firm in Hartford in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” Click here to learn more about the honors and recognition we have received.
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