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Surgery 'never events' can lead to lawsuits

If you're seeking surgery here in Louisville or elsewhere, it's normal to have concerns that something could go wrong during the procedure. While the majority of surgeries here in the United States go off without a hitch, every year there are too many "never events" and surgical errors that occur to patients.

Common "never events" include:

  • Wrong-side, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient surgeries
  • Surgical tools and foreign items left inside the patient
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Nerve damage from positioning errors

Medical professionals must be diligent about following surgical protocols, including checking and double-checking that the right patient is getting the right surgery.

The below factors can contribute to these preventable errors:

  • Staff rushing during patient verification phase
  • Senior leadership is disengaged
  • Operating room booking documents not verified
  • During pre-op prep of the patient, surgery site markings are obliterated or covered with surgical drapes
  • Patient briefing communications were ineffective
  • Surgical time out performed without full participation
  • Inconsistent organizational focus on patient safety

If you were adversely affected by a "never event" or another medical error, you are not without recourse. Your first goal should be to repair the problem. Then, you may decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent practitioner, surgeon, staff member and/or medical facility.

Because malpractice lawsuits rely on the testimony of experts in the field who have medical knowledge of the surgical processes and expected patient outcomes, they are best handled by experienced medical malpractice litigators.

Don't wait too long to take action after a medical mistake happens, as there are strict timeframes that must be followed in order to recover any financial compensation.

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