Surgical never events are alarming and significant errors that should never occur during surgery. Unfortunately, they do occur, which causes considerable harm to patients. These mistakes are so egregious that they’re often considered preventable with proper care and protocols.
When undergoing surgery, patients trust their medical team to follow established guidelines and procedures to ensure their safety. Sadly, errors can happen, and when they do, they can lead to severe or even life-altering consequences.
What are surgical never events?
Surgical never events are catastrophic errors that include performing surgery on the wrong body part or wrong patient, leaving surgical instruments inside a patient’s body or conducting the wrong surgical procedure altogether. These errors are called “never events” because they’re entirely preventable and should never happen with proper care and attention.
The impact on patients
The consequences of surgical never events can be devastating for patients. They may result in severe injury, prolonged recovery time, additional surgeries or even death. The emotional toll on patients and their families can be overwhelming, leading to a loss of trust in healthcare professionals and the medical system as a whole.
Preventive measures within the medical community
Hospitals and surgical teams increasingly focus on preventive measures to eliminate never events. This includes implementing rigorous protocols, checklists, and communication strategies within the surgical team. However, despite best efforts, these events continue to occur, underscoring the importance of continuous training, awareness and accountability within the medical community.
Patients who suffer harm from a never event should get the care they need to address the problems. They may also decide to seek compensation for the financial damages they’re dealing with. Time limits apply to these cases, so be sure to act swiftly.