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Surgical never events, or surgical mistakes that are considered completely preventable, may cause worsened medical conditions or death for patients.

Surgery is often used to address the symptoms of certain medical conditions, repair internal damage or relieve other conditions. When patients in Boston, and throughout Massachusetts, go in for such procedures, they put trust in their surgeons to use good judgment and stay focused on the surgery. However, surgical mistakes often occur, many of which are preventable.

Preventable surgical errors are commonly referred to as surgical never events. This is because it is believed that such mistakes are completely avoidable and thus, should never occur. The Boston Globe reports that there were 821 preventable errors reported by Massachusetts' hospitals last year alone.

Preventable surgical errors

A number of surgical mistakes may be considered surgical never events. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, some of the most common of these errors include the following:

  • Executing the wrong procedure
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Unintentional retained foreign objects
  • Wrong-site surgeries
  • Air embolisms
  • Using contaminated medical devices

Furthermore, administering medications that are contaminated may be categorized as surgical never events. In general, these types of medical mistakes are considered preventable if proper care is taken.

Complications from surgical mistakes

Due to surgical never events, patients may suffer worsened medical conditions, added medical ailments or death. The effects that result from this type of medical malpractice may vary based on a number of factors, including a patient's condition prior to the surgery and the type of mistake that was made. Surgical never events often lead to serious conditions, such as broken bones or infections. As a result of such mistakes, patients may need further medical treatment, which could include additional procedures.

Common causes of surgical never events

There is a number of factors, which may contribute to the occurrence of surgical never events. Poor communication between surgeons and hospital staff is a common cause of these types of errors, according to a Huffington Post report. Additionally, surgeons have a responsibility to maintain their focus while in the operating room. However, distractions may occur and lead to surgical mistakes.

Furthermore, the long hours that hospital staff and surgeons often work may lead to fatigue. As a result, surgical never events may happen. The time of day when a procedure is performed may also contribute to medical mistakes. In addition, failing to create and comply with proper safety protocols may also result in these types of errors.

Consult with an attorney

Patients in Boston who fall victim to surgical mistakes often require additional medical treatment and care. This may lead to added medical expenses, as well as lost wages while they are off of work to recover. When such mistakes could have been prevented, the medical professional who made the errors may be held liable. Therefore, those who have experienced this type of situation may benefit from seeking legal guidance. An attorney may help them determine if a surgical never event occurred, as well as advise them of their options for pursuing compensation.

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Dolan Connly, P.C. represents individuals and corporate clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This includes Greater Boston, and the cities of Dorchester, Quincy, South Boston and surrounding suburban areas. We also represent individuals in the South Shore with an office in Pembroke. The firm has represented clients in the courts of Suffolk County, Plymouth County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County and the remaining counties throughout Massachusetts.

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