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3 kinds of surgical mistakes that should never, ever happen

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | September 23, 2021

Surgeons are humans who can potentially make mistakes in their medical practices. Surgical errors are one of the main reasons why so many support staff members and so much documentation is necessary for every surgical operation.

Even with cutting-edge computer systems, highly-trained assistants and corporate oversight, surgeons sometimes make horrific mistakes. The worst surgical mistakes are never events, a medical term that helps drive home the fact that these mistakes should never happen.

What are the three common never events in modern surgery?

Wrong-site operations

Sometimes, a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body. That might mean removing the wrong kidney or replacing the wrong joint. Other times, it might mean performing a procedure in an entirely incorrect part of the body.

Wrong procedure or patient mistakes

Another mistake that should never happen involves a surgeon performing the wrong procedure on a patient or misidentifying a patient before their operation. Undergoing an incorrect and unnecessary surgery can do real harm to a patient.

Foreign object mistakes

Although they are perhaps the most cliche of all never events, retained foreign bodies are still a common mistake. Surgeons might leave gauze or even metal tools behind in a patient after they close up an incision. Not only will a second surgery often be necessary, but the items left behind could cause physical trauma or infection.

Never events should not occur with proper oversight and care in a surgical facility. Learning about the different kinds of medical malpractice can help you fight back when a doctor makes a mistake that should never happen.

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