Some things are just never supposed to happen to patients who seek treatment at hospitals. These adverse incidents that can cause terrible and permanent damage (and sometimes even be fatal) to patients are known as "never events."
What if medical providers and surgeons could cut the number of surgical errors in half? Most people would agree that doing so would be a helpful step toward better patient safety.
Sometimes, a medical procedure goes wrong in a way that nobody could anticipate. Most of the time, however, the things that go wrong are totally predictable.
Surgery patients are among the most vulnerable in the entire hospital. Unless they're just having a minor surgery done with only a local anesthetic, the patient will have to undergo general anesthesia. They are literally at the mercy of the doctors and nurses while they are unconscious from the anesthetic,
Closing a surgical wound correctly is an essential step to making sure that a patient is not exposed to bacteria or other infectious agents too openly. Sutures are meant to keep the wound closed and sealed until the body heals on its own. In most cases, sutures are strong enough to allow patients to get up or walk around, depending on where they are, and are intended to be taken out before 21 days. Sometimes, in rare cases, they'll stay in longer.
When a medical team is taking you into an operating room, they should have all the information they need to keep you safe. They should know the procedure. They should know your allergies and intolerances. They need to know who you are and any information about you that could complicate the procedure.
Imagine waking up from surgery to remove a diseased kidney only to be told that the surgeon accidentally excised the healthy organ and left the diseased kidney in place. Now, you are facing a lifetime on dialysis.
Waking up from a surgery and learning that you had an operation on the wrong area of your body or finding out that you need a second surgery to remove an object left inside you can be horrifying. You put your life and health in your medical team's care, and you expected them to treat you appropriately.
When a patient goes through surgery, the goal is always to remove all tools and sponges from the patient's body before the surgery is completed and the patient is stitched up. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which patients deal with infection and other complications because of items that have been left behind.
It's hard to imagine that it would happen to you, but surgical mistakes do happen to innocent patients every day. Whether it's leaving a tool inside a newly sutured wound or giving a patient the wrong medications while under anesthesia, surgical errors have the potential to be extremely dangerous.