If you have never heard the term “never events” you are not alone. However, if you believe you have suffered from a surgical error, this is a term with which you should become familiar.

Never events are clearly wrong and often shocking surgical errors that should never occur in surgery situations. In other words, no properly educated and trained surgeon would ordinarily make such horrible mistakes. Some examples of never events include wrong-site surgery, treatment delays, medication errors and post-operative complications.

Other never event surgical errors include surgery on the wrong person, foreign objects left in the body, contaminated biologics introduced into the body and the use of contaminated devices or drugs during surgery.

Recent findings reveal that despite the rarity of never events, almost 4,000 cases occur across the nation each year. Further, 71 percent of these result in the death of a patient. Medical authorities say that most instances of never event negligence occur due to medical practitioner’s carelessness or improper safety measure. In other words, they are entirely preventable most of the time.

Most surgeons practice extreme care in the operating room and most patients come out of surgery on better condition than when they entered. However, “never events” still occur, and it is understandable for patients to want someone tp be held accountable.

Due to the seemingly careless nature of these mistakes, courts in New Jersey and elsewhere often view them as gross medical malpractice or negligence. If you believe that you are a victim of surgical errors or never events, a medical malpractice attorney can advise you about what steps to take next.

Source: Patient Safety Network, “Never Events,” accessed Oct. 28, 2015