Davis & Davis, Attorneys at Law
Call for a free consultation
Local 713-364-0314713-364-0314 Toll Free 877-202-0835 877-202-0835

Preventable surgical errors occur over 4,000 times per year

Readers in Houston, Texas, who have undergone surgery or are thinking about it should take note of a recent study performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The study estimates that 39 times a week, a surgeon leaves a foreign object such as surgical equipment left inside a patient after an operation. It also estimates that 20 times a week a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient and operates on the wrong part of the body 20 times a week, as well.

These types of surgical errors are referred to as "never events" because there is universal professional agreement that they should never happen during surgery, and are considered totally preventable. The researchers believe that between 1990 and 2010, these "never events" occurred in U.S. hospitals approximately 80,000 times. They also believe that their estimates are low because not all of these errors are discovered.

After using a federal data bank called the National Practitioner Data Bank, which is a repository of medical malpractice claims, the researchers were able to discover that there were almost 10,000 paid malpractice judgments and claims during the 20 years studied. The compensation payments for those claims totaled over $1 billion. As for the damages the errors caused, about 6 percent of the patients died, while around 33 percent suffered from permanent injury and roughly 60 percent were temporarily injured.

The study concludes that both better procedures and better reporting systems are needed in order to prevent never events. It suggests public reporting of these events that could give consumers access to better information and allow them to make more informed decisions about where to undergo surgery. The study states that in doing this, hospitals would be under more pressure to make things safer.

While the suggestions made by the researchers may have a positive impact on patient safety, it may not address the immediate or lingering problem of doctor error. In cases where the patient is injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be the right option to recover compensation for any unexpected expenses or other financial harm done. Improvement in rates is always a positive, but an individual patient suffering the effects of an error should know they have options.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, "Johns Hopkins Malpractice Study: Surgical 'Never Events' Occur At Least 4,000 Times Per Year," Dec. 19, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Davis & Davis for a Complimentary Consultation Davis & Davis proudly accepts referrals from Texas attorneys and law firms nationwide.

D&Ds Mobile Office

D&D's Mobile Office D&Ds Mobile Office

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Houston Office
440 Louisiana St.
Suite 1850
Houston, TX 77002

Phone: 713-364-0314
Phone: 713-364-0314
Houston Law Office Map

Corpus Christi Office
802 N. Carancahua
Suite #1400
Corpus Christi, TX 78403

Phone: 713-364-0314
Phone: 361-884-7475
Map & Directions

Dallas Office
3001 Knox Street
Suite 405
Dallas, TX 75205

Phone: 713-364-0314
Phone: 214-326-0582
Map & Directions

San Antonio Office
126 Villitas St.
San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: 713-364-0314
Phone: 210-224-0600
Map & Directions

McAllen Office
1111 W. Nolana
McAllen, TX 78504

Phone: 713-364-0314
Phone: 713-364-0314
Map & Directions