Study Suggests Surgical Errors Are Common In The U.S.

According to a study published in 2012, “never event” surgical errors are alarmingly common in the U.S., with 80,000 such events occurring in American hospitals between 1990 and 2010. Researchers believe that their estimates are likely on the low side, medical malpractice attorneys note. A “never event” surgical error involves medical mistakes such as leaving a foreign object in the body of a patient or performing the wrong procedure, and when a never event occurs an injured patient may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries.

If you or a loved one was injured due to the fault of a healthcare provider, contact Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and can inform you of your options. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated medical malpractice attorney.

Important: The time you have to pursue a claim is limited. Contact us for more information.

Surgical Errors Often Have Devastating Effects

According to a Johns Hopkins University study, researchers estimated the prevalence of these mistakes by reviewing 9,744 malpractice claims and judgments made between 1990 and 2010. In each case, surgeons operated on the wrong body part or patient, performed the wrong procedure or left surgical objects inside patients.

The researchers estimated that over 80,000 never events occurred during the period surveyed. Additionally, the researchers calculated the number of these errors that occur during shorter intervals. They found that, in an average week, surgeons fail to remove all foreign objects from patients during 39 procedures. Surgeons also perform about 20 wrong-patient surgeries and 20 wrong-site procedures each week. Altogether, an average of 4,044 never events happen yearly.

These surgical errors often have devastating effects. In 32.9 percent of the cases studied, patients suffered irreversible injuries, and 6.6 percent of surgical errors resulted in death. To reduce these outcomes, the study’s leader recommends increasing accountability through better supervising and reporting of surgical errors. Although the Institute of Medicine called for mandatory state reporting of adverse medical errors more than a decade ago, only 26 states and the District of Columbia are doing so, and the extent of what they actually report varies, the study found.

Affected Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation

Patients who have been injured due to the fault of a healthcare provider may be entitled to compensation. Damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental anguish

If a patient dies as a result of a healthcare provider’s mistake, family members may be able to pursue wrongful death claims. These kinds of damages can include:

  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
  • Medical expenses attributable to the injury
  • Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death

Affected families are encouraged to speak with a medical malpractice lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.

Contact Us For More Information

If you or a loved one was injured due to the fault of a healthcare provider, contact Attorney Group for more information. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at

When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you may have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.

Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.

See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group today.