A recent study published in a recent edition of JAMA Surgery indicates that although major surgical mistakes are uncommon, they are still occurring. Called "never events" by many, because they are completely avoidable and should never take place, these mistakes include wrong site surgeries and leaving medical implements inside patients. Wrong site surgeries can involve operating on the wrong side or body part of a patient or even the wrong patient.
Researchers discovered that about one in every 100,000 procedures involve wrong site errors and one in 10,000 involve leaving medical equipment inside a person's body. These numbers were obtained by looking at data from 138 studies published between 2004 and 2014.
Part of the reason that it is difficult to further reduce the number of surgical mistakes is because they are rare. This means that there is little data to draw on, so it is hard to determine their causes. However, the most frequent reasons for these mistakes are lack of communication between medical professionals. Additional causes include miscommunication, lack of information that should have been available to staff and staff failing to report or address suspicions of problems.
Although never events are considered rare, they are still errors that could have been avoided had medical professionals communicated or done their job properly. The results of this type of hospital negligence can range from the development of new medical conditions to the death of the patient. If someone or their family member has been harmed as a result of this type of mistake, a lawyer may be able to help determine what led to the surgical error and help them pursue legal action.