Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish Personal Injury Attorneys | Chicago, IL
Se Habla Español
Free Initial Consultations 888-325-7299

Why the Health Care Industry Must Take Steps to Reduce Surgical "Never Events"

Surgical "never events" are a serious problem within America's health care industry. According to recent data, about 80 "never events" - such as surgical instruments left inside the patient and the wrong surgery performed - occur every week. Common types of surgical "never events" include:

  • Instruments such as sponges are unintentionally left behind in the patient
  • Wrong procedure performed
  • Wrong surgical site
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient

Recent data regarding the prevalence of surgical "never events" is particularly alarming. According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, surgical "never events" happen at least 4,000 times a year in the United States and more than 80,000 "never events" occurred between 1990 and 2010. The Johns Hopkins research also showed that:

  • Approximately 39 times a week a foreign object, such as a towel or sponge, is left inside of a patient.
  • Approximately 20 times a week, surgeons perform the wrong surgery or operate on the wrong body part.
  • More than 9,744 medical malpractice claims were paid during the twenty year period, which cost more than $1.3 billion.

Quite frankly, this high rate of surgical "never events" must change. Thousands of patients' lives are put at risk because of these careless and preventable surgical mistakes. Moreover, oftentimes the only recourse for the victims of surgical "never events" is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit since, pursuant to a 2010 federal health care law, Medicaid no longer pays claims for certain "never events," such operations on the wrong body part and certain surgical site infections. The prevalence of surgical "never events" could be dramatically reduced through the implementation of various safety precautions. For instance, some hospitals have started using new technology (such as bar codes on surgical tools) and requiring "timeouts" in the operating room to double-check the surgical plans. But these safety precautions need to become industry-wide standards, rather than an exception followed by a few hospitals. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals must work together to minimize the incidence of "never events" and provide the standard of health care that patients deserve. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to protecting the public from surgical "never events" and helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial compensation for their injuries. If you suspect that you might have been the victim of medical negligence, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

Scholarship AwardWin A $1,000
Scholarship Award

Submit a 500 words or less topic-specific essay by July 15, 2018 via this website for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship from Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish.
Click Here for more submission details on how to win.

Get The Settlement That You Deserve Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you with a FREE case evaluation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Schedule Your FREE Consultation

Office Location

20 North Clark Street 31st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: 888-325-7299
Phone: 312-445-9084
Fax: 312-782-6739
Chicago Law Office Map

Contact Us

Review Us