Startling statistics about risks in the operating room
A review of the medical liability settlements and judgments from 1990 to 2010 revealed nearly 10,000 cases of mistakes that should never happen during surgery. These cases include unintentionally leaving surgical materials inside a patient, performing the wrong procedure, performing surgery on the wrong body part or the wrong patient entirely.
Based on the estimation that 90% of injured patients do not file a claim or receive damages, the review projects that 4,082 of these mistakes occur annually, or 78.5 each week. The cases that were filed and won by the plaintiff paid out $1.3 billion in settlements.
The review, published in Surgery magazine in December 2012, has worrying implications for patients. With an estimated 50 million surgeries performed annually, roughly one in every 12,000 procedures results in one of these “never” events. While this may seem like insignificant odds, the fact that these events happen means that even routine surgeries with minimal risks can put patients in danger of injury or even death.
It is therefore critical that patients always be prepared for unexpected results and accidents to happen during any surgical procedure. And if a mistake does occur, patients should not let themselves become one of the 90% of cases that do not file or receive damages for their injuries. It is important for patients to speak to a lawyer and give themselves the best possible chance to get compensation for their difficulties.
The medical field is complex, but an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the procedure to determine what went wrong, and to determine the best course of action when filing a claim. The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC encourage any victim of a surgical error to seek out legal advice and representation, as they may be eligible for damages to cover medical costs to fix the mistake, as well as compensation for other pain and suffering. Their law offices are located at 300 East Lombard Street in Baltimore, Maryland.