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What is the prognosis for patients when surgeons make mistakes?

Every physician practicing medicine in the United States has extensive education. They complete a college degree and then attend medical school. Their education involves a residency, where they work hands-on in the area of medicine that they hope to practice while under the direct supervision of licensed professionals.

Eventually, medical students graduate, take state medical licensing tests and become physicians who can legally practice medicine. Surgeons are among the most carefully educated of all medical professionals. However, despite the rigorous education required, many surgeons still make mistakes that can lead to severe consequences for their patients.

So-called never events occur on a weekly basis across the country. They involve a surgeon or a member of a surgical support team making a mistake so severe that it should never happen in a modern facility. What is the prognosis for a patient who experiences a never event?

Noteworthy injury is nearly universal after never events

Surgical never events involve major mistakes like leaving an object behind in a patient or performing the wrong procedure. Obviously, when a major mistake occurs during a surgery, it will have a negative impact on a patient’s overall prognosis.

When surgeons make mistakes, the consequences for the patient are often severe. Roughly 6.6% of reported surgical mistakes resulted in death. Another  32.9% caused permanent injury. In 59.2% of surgical error cases, the patient suffered temporary injuries, and even those could cost thousands of dollars in medical care and lost wages.

How medical malpractice claims help

Both individuals hurt by a surgeon’s mistakes and family members grieving a tragic death may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon or against the facility where the operation occurred.

Medical malpractice claims often lead to insurance payouts or sometimes civil litigation. When successful, they can provide financial compensation for those affected by medical mistakes. Additionally, claims will likely prompt a doctor or a corporate medical practice to reevaluate how they handle certain procedures. In other words, you may be able to receive financial compensation while also preventing someone else from experiencing the same misfortune in the future.

Asserting your rights after a surgical mistake can protect you, your family and other people in your community.