Many of us have heard disturbing tales of wrong site surgeries, medication errors, misdiagnoses, and the like. These stories are concerning on their own, but perhaps even more concerning are the statistics which show just how often incidents of medical malpractice occur. Medical malpractice cases involve many different scenarios, from foreign objects left inside of the body after surgery, wrong body part surgeries, incorrect surgeries, medication errors, misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose. Medical malpractice occurs whenever a health care provider’s actions deviate from the established standard of care and cause harm to a patient. Two years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a study that examined how frequently incidents of medical malpractice, which are often called “never events”, actually happen.
A “never event” is something that medical professionals agree should never happen during surgery. All “never events” are deviations from the standards of care which medical professionals are supposed to adhere to in providing care to their patients. Things like surgical sponges being left inside of patients, incorrect body part surgery, and incorrect surgery on the right body part are all “never events”. Approximately 4,044 never events occur annually in the United States. As part of the study, the “never events” were categorized, and the researchers found that each week, twenty incorrect surgeries were performed. Also, twenty patients per week reported surgery on the wrong body part and another thirty nine patients per week reported that a surgical implement was left inside of their body.
The researchers who did the Johns Hopkins study think that their estimate of the number of “never events” is much lower than the actual occurrence of such events because the estimates were based upon medical malpractice cases that were actually filed, and which were voluntarily reported by hospitals. As few as fifteen percent of medical malpractice claims are voluntarily reported by hospitals, so the numbers that are reported in the study may just be the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, some “never events” cause very little damage to the patient before they are discovered and therefore, they do not result in medical malpractice claims. Another reason that the “never events” estimates in the Johns Hopkins study may be rather low is that some “never events” are never even discovered.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice can have a long lasting impact on both the victims and their families. If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed as the result of the negligent actions of a health care provider, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. At the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., our team of Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys can help you to pursue a claim for damages that will adequately compensate you and your family for the pain, suffering, and other adverse effects that they have experienced. To learn more about how we can help you to recover from medical malpractice, please call the attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022.