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What are the surgical errors that should never happen?

Everyone makes mistakes at work, but many people do not have the kinds of jobs in which small errors make a big difference. But medicine is not one of those jobs, and every kind of surgical error, even if it does not seem serious, could potentially be significant and costly for the patient involved.

  • When are surgical errors more serious than others?

There are thousands of surgical issues each year that many hospitals and public health researchers call "never events." This is simply because these events should never happen with properly coordinated health care.

  • What are examples of never events?

Surgeries performed on the wrong side of a patient's body, possibly affecting the wrong organ, are never events that are occasionally the subject of a surgical error lawsuit. A sponge or medical instrument left inside a person's body, which may cause a massive infection, is another example.

  • What sort of actions do people take after never events?

Medical malpractice lawsuits are sometimes the only recourse remaining for people who were harmed by surgical errors or the survivors of patients who died from improper care. A total of nearly 10,000 medical malpractice judgments and claims for these events brought in $1.3 billion for plaintiffs over the two decades leading up to 2012.

  • How do people initiate medical malpractice lawsuits?

Legal representation can be very useful for people dealing with the aftermath of surgical errors. An attorney can advise on whether the specific circumstances of a medical problem warrant a claim in civil court and initiate the process in an Illinois court.

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ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

View Article “I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

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