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Some surgical errors are called never events. These events are aptly named due to the idea that they never should have happened in the first place. Patients may suffer temporarily from these injuries, or they could suffer lasting damage.

According to medical research, these never events may take place up to 80 times per week. That means that there is over $1.3 billion being spent on payouts to patients injured by these events.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent these injuries? Yes; better record keeping, checks with a patient and doctor for discussing a procedure and reviewing notes, and even making sure patient data is entered into a database correctly can make a huge difference.

What kinds of never events are most common? Some include operating on the wrong site or leaving items inside a patient’s body after surgery. These are issues no patient wants to suffer from, so it wouldn’t be unlikely for someone to ask for a more experienced surgeon. That won’t necessarily prevent injuries, though. Around 30 percent of all never events occurred when a surgeon between 50 and 59 was operating. However, the number caused by surgeons over the age of 60 was only 15 percent.

The universal protocol is a mandated three-step program designed to prevent these injuries. All hospitals should be using this process; if you’re injured as a result of a failure to do so, then the requirements by the Joint Commission have been violated, and that could mean you’re in a position to make a claim for compensation for your injuries.