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Louisville medical malpractice attorneys holding doctors and hospitals accountable for serious yet preventable surgery errors

Some form of surgery error occurs several times a day in hospitals and surgical facilities around the country. The vast majority of these errors are preventable, but they occur because of the incompetence or negligence of medical staff or, more often, because the hospital failed to design and implement appropriate procedures and protocols to prevent such errors from happening.

There is simply no excuse for such errors to come about, and no explanation that could satisfy a patient or the family member of a patient seriously harmed by surgical error. The Louisville medical malpractice lawyers at the Slechter Law Firm are committed to holding doctors and hospitals accountable for surgical errors, and seeing to it that the victims of such malpractice are fully compensated for all of their legal damages, including the cost of additional medical expenses, lost income for time missed from work, physical pain and suffering, and their justifiable emotional or mental distress.

If “never events” are never supposed to happen, why do they happen so often there is a name for them?

Sometimes called sentinel events, the term “never event” was coined in 2001 to describe medical errors that are so serious and shocking they should simply never occur. Never events today are grouped into several categories, including patient falls, medication errors, delays in treatment, and, typically first and foremost, surgical errors.

The hallmarks of a “never event” are that the adverse event is unambiguous (easy to identify), serious (causes death or significant disability) and usually preventable. Surgery errors that fit this category and should never happen, yet nevertheless happen several times a day, every day across the country, include:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Wrong surgery performed on the patient
  • Foreign object (needle, clamp, sponge, etc.) sewn up inside of patient
  • Improper administration of anesthesia causing death during or immediately after surgery

Errors such as wrong-site surgery, wrong surgery or wrong patient can be prevented if the hospital has appropriate procedures in place to check and double-check that the correct procedure is being performed on the correct patient before the procedure begins. Staff must be trained to read and code charts correctly, and to deliberately mark the surgery site. The great tragedy of wrong-site surgeries is that they are so easily preventable.

The most common surgery error is the retention of a foreign object inside the patient’s body after surgery. Foreign body objects can cause serious damage and even prove fatal. They can migrate throughout the body and cause serious infection, perforate the bowels or internal organs, and cause severe pain. Often times, yet another surgery is required to retrieve the object. Putting a patient through another invasive procedure shortly after a major surgery puts the patient at serious risk for infection, anesthesia problems, and other complications depending upon the patient’s postoperative health. This type of surgery error can easily be prevented by a procedure as simple as counting the number of surgical objects on the tray before beginning surgery and again before closing any body cavities.

Help is available to recover from your injuries and stop surgery errors in Louisville and beyond

If you believe that you or a loved one were the victim of a surgery error that caused you harm, contact the compassionate and dedicated Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at the Slechter Law Firm at 502-384-7400. We can also be reached toll free at 855-598-7425 and are willing to travel throughout Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee to serve people wronged by the negligence or incompetence of others.

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