A new study just released in the Surgery journal reveals that prevalence of “never events” in hospitals is much higher than previously thought. The analysis was done in hospitals looking at national malpractice claims, and examiners observed that over 80,000 “never events” occurred between 1990 and 2010.
Of note, it was estimated that at least 39 times a week a surgeon or hospital surgical team leaves a foreign object inside patients, which includes items such as medical and surgical devices, towels, and sponges. This is notwithstanding the fact that there should be counts of all of the equipment, devices, and surgical products. Further, it was estimated that surgeons perform the wrong surgery or actually operate on the wrong part of the body about 20 times per week. Again, this is notwithstanding the fact that there are standard protocols in place before surgery to prevent these surgical mishaps from occurring.
While operating personnel should follow standard protocols before, during, and after surgery, it is clear that these are not being followed. Either the surgeons and staff are not being trained to properly adhere to the accepted standards of surgical care, or they are ignoring the accepted standards of surgical care.