Patients who go in for a surgery expect that the medical team caring for them will perform the procedure without causing them any unnecessary harm. This happens in most cases, but there are issues that sometimes occur. Surgical “never events” are ones that are preventable and shouldn’t ever happen.
Surgical never events happen for four categories of reasons. These types of errors can all be stopped when proper protocols are put into place and followed:
- Equipment failure
- Communication error
- Human error
- System failure
The key to stopping all of these is properly training the medical team to correctly do the patient intakes, procedure preparations and the procedures themselves. Anyone who uses equipment must know how to operate it. One thing that can help to prevent many errors is having the team members take a timeout before the procedure to verify what’s going to happen. This is a final chance to confirm the specifics, such as a last verification of patient identity and clarification of who is going to do what during the procedure.
A surgery must be handled very carefully. Nothing should be left to chance, including making sure that all surgical items are removed from the patient. There is never an excuse for lax behavior during a surgery.
When a patient is harmed during a surgery, they can face lifelong consequences. Seeking compensation for the financial aspects of this, including the increase in medical bills and decrease in income, might help to take some of the stress off them. If you’re in this position, remember that there is a limited amount of time to get your claim filed before the statute of limitation expires.