Medical Malpractice Claims News: New Study Reveals Billions at the Heart of Surgical Never Events

A study by John Hopkins involving medical malpractice and ‘never events’ finds thousands of medical malpractice claims occur in operating rooms across the country each year. Termed ‘never events’ because medical professionals agree they should never occur, these events are at the heart of billions of dollars of medical malpractice claims.

Using twenty years of data, researchers at found more 80,000 reports of ‘never events’ and some 9,744 medical malpractice claims were filed because of these events, resulting in medical malpractice settlements and judgments that total over $1.3 billion. In those medical malpractice cases, 6.6 percent of the patients died, 32.9 percent of the patients suffered permanent injury, and 59.2 percent of the patients suffered temporary injury.

Medical Malpractice Claims ‘Never Events’

In a new study published in the journal Surgery, researchers from Johns Hopkins revealed that each year 4,044 ‘never events’ occur during surgeries across the country.

These ‘never events’ include:

  • Operating on the wrong site
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Performing the wrong procedures
  • Leaving foreign objects inside patients

Researchers used information from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) to establish that:

  • surgeons operate on the wrong area of a patient’s body 20 times per week
  • surgeons leave objects like sponges and towels inside a patient 39 times each week
  • surgeons perform the wrong procedure on patients 20 times per week

Hospitals have numerous safety systems in place to prevent ‘never events’ including:

  • surgery checklists
  • counting sponges and towels and other tools before and following surgical procedures
  • using indelible ink to mark surgical sites
  • taking a pre-surgery time out allowing staff to double check records and surgical plans

What the study made obvious is that these safety measures are not foolproof and are failing at an alarming rate. Lead author of the study, Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H., and associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says that public reporting of ‘never events’ would “put hospitals under the gun to make things safer,” and help patients make informed decisions regarding where they want to have their surgeries conducted. It would also help patients decide which surgeons they want to perform their operations.

About Wright & Schulte LLC

Wright & Schulte LLC, a personal injury firm, is dedicated to the belief that America’s legal system should work for the people. Every day, the attorneys of Wright & Schulte LLC stand up for the rights of people who have been injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. Whether it is a personal injury due to a highway accident, medical malpractice, product liability, nursing home abuse, a construction accident, wrongful death, or any other lawsuits we are always here to answer any questions and help in any way we can. It costs nothing to talk to us, so schedule a free initial consultation. There is no obligation. You can have the advice of a respected legal professional. Contact our office at yourohiolegalhelp.com or by phone at (937)-222-7477 to set up your free appointment.

This entry was posted in Wright & Schulte News. Bookmark the permalink.