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Surgical "never events" number in the thousands every year

Despite hospitals and surgical centers in Fulton County, Georgia, taking steps to avoid mistakes during surgeries, they often still occur. Surgical errors that can be prevented such as operating on the wrong site or leaving a foreign object inside a person’s body are known as never events because they should never happen. According to a study performed by John Hopkins, approximately 4,044 never events happen every year in the U.S.

Researchers conducting the study looked at medical malpractice claims filed between 1990 and 2010. According to Medical News Today, they found 9,744 claims and judgments related to never events and found that 59.2 percent of patients sustained temporary injuries, 32.9 percent were permanently injured and 6.6 percent died as a result of surgical mistakes that could have been prevented.  

Using the results of this study, researchers estimate that every week in the U.S., surgeons perform a wrong body site surgery 20 times, a wrong procedure 20 times, and leave a foreign object inside a patient 39 times.

The leader of the study believes that in addition to patient safety procedures employed by hospitals and surgical centers, there needs to be better reporting systems put into place. He believes this will enable people to make more informed decisions about where to go for their surgeries and also put pressure on medical centers to make every effort to prevent never events from occurring. 

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