A woman from Georgia has filed a lawsuit claiming that a camera was left inside her body after having surgery at an Atlanta hospital. The camera was not discovered for six months. Another surgery was required to remove the camera.
The Case of the Missing Camera
Lacrystal Lockett received a kidney and pancreatic transplant at Emory University Hospital on December 17, 2014. This was a significant surgery, performed by three doctors with the aid of a medical camera. It was discovered that the medical team had left the camera within her torso during an examination at the hospital the following June.
Ms. Lockett was forced to undergo another surgery in order to retrieve the forgotten camera. Every surgery carries risks and this surgery should not have been necessary. The patient suffered and will suffer significant pain and suffering. She also incurred medical expenses and lost wages. A jury will be asked to determine the amount of compensation she should receive.
4,000 “Never Events” Every Year
“Never events” may be a term you’ve never heard before. It refers to preventable mistakes made during surgery that should “never” have happened. Forgetting to remove a medical camera from a woman’s body certainly seems to qualify.
A review of medical malpractice claim data from the National Practitioner Data Bank for “never events” revealed a shocking 4,000 patients are injured every year because of surgical error. A person is never more vulnerable than when on an operating table, putting 100% of their trust in the medical team.
How Many “Never Events” are Never Reported?
The actual number of “never events” is probably higher than the average of 4,044 reported every year. The law requires all “never events” to be reported only if they result in a settlement or court judgment. In other words, unless a patient knows an error was committed, files a lawsuit and the lawsuit is settled, it’s as if the error never happened.
The Shocking Statistics
Surgical errors can have devastating results.
- 59% of patients suffered temporary injuries
- 33% of surgical errors caused permanent injuries
- 6.6% of surgical malpractice resulted in the patient’s death
The study revealed the following types of surgical errors are committed by surgeons every week:
- 39 foreign objects such as medical instruments are left inside the patient’s body
- 20 surgeons perform the wrong surgical procedures
- 20 patients discover surgery was performed on the wrong part of their body (including amputating the wrong limb)
All surgeons are definitely not equal. A few are repeat offenders.
- Researchers found 2/3 of surgeons reported for a surgical error had been cited at least one other time in a malpractice report
- More than 12% had been involved in more than one “never event.”
Have You or a Family Member Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Hospitals are required to have certain safety procedures in place to prevent or reduce surgical mistakes such as leaving cameras in the patient’s body. However, negligence, fatigue, miscommunications or simple carelessness can all result in harm to the patient.
At the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates, you’ll find compassionate, experienced attorneys who have represented many families harmed by surgical errors and other types of medical malpractice. If you believe you’ve been injured, don’t delay. A claim must be filed within a certain amount of time and evidence can be lost. Visit the website to examine the results of past cases. The firm can be contacted in New York or New Jersey at 1-800-810-3457.
Learn more about “Never Events” and Medical Device News.