study 4000 instances of never event medical malpractice occur each year

Have you ever heard the term “never event”? In a medical malpractice context, it refers to a mistake that is so bad, it should never happen. Things like leaving a surgical sponge inside of a patient or operating on a wrong limb would be considered never events.

Recently, a study pertaining to never events caught our eye, and we thought we would pass it along to our Pittsburgh readers.

This study, which was performed by researchers from Johns Hopkins and published in the journal Surgery, found that about 4,000 never events occur each year in operating rooms across the U.S.

One of the many alarming things about never events is that medical experts consider them to be totally preventable. There simply is no reason why an inattentive doctor should perform the wrong surgery, or a nurse not to check his work and leave an instrument inside a patient.

We are not telling you about this study because we want you to be frightened. We believe it is important to be well-informed; in fact, we think it’s necessary. We also want you to know that if you are ever the victim of medical malpractice, you have legal rights and options.

Source: The Atlantic, “4,082 Totally Preventable Medical Disasters Occur Each Year,” J.K. Trotter, Dec. 20, 2012

• Our Pittsburgh office assists clients who have been the victim of medical malpractice, among others. If you are interested in learning more about the type of work we do, we invite you to visit our Medical Malpractice page.

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