Frischman & Rizza

University Hospitals performs an indefensible act

Saturday, July 2nd, University Hospitals in Ohio transplanted a kidney into the wrong patient. By definition, this error is a “Surgical Never Event.” It is entirely preventable by well-established time-out procedures in the OR to confirm the patient, his or her diagnosis, and the procedure to be performed.

The patient who received the kidney is not the only person this careless medical event has impacted. The person who was initially receiving the donated kidney is still waiting, as their transplant surgery has now been delayed.

Following this mix-up, University Hospitals in Cleveland has started an investigation and has placed two people on administrative leave.

A spokesperson from University Hospitals has provided an apology to the impacted families saying, “We have offered our sincerest apologies to these patients and their families,” continuing with, “We recognize they entrusted us with their care. The situation is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to helping patients return to health and live life to the fullest.”

An apology is not enough for the impacted patients. These victims may suffer major physical injuries and stress. “Never events” are preventable and clearly identifiable; they represent a major healthcare quality problem that causes needless injury and millions of dollars in otherwise unnecessary medical care each year.

A “never event” is described as a medical mistake that never should have happened. There are systems/safety plans in place to prevent these tragic mistakes from ever occurring if those simple systems/safety plans are followed. Never events are a form of medical malpractice, which is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Never event specifics

Many categories exist within “never events”

  • Patient protection
  • Care management
  • Environmental
  • Product or device
  • Criminal
  • Surgical

Multiple procedures that fall under “surgical never events,” including but not limited to

  • Wrong surgery performed on patient
  • Incorrect surgical procedure performed on patient
  • Wrong surgery sites
  • Unintended retention of foreign object

Unfortunately, carelessness caused by the failure to follow simple safety precautions occurs much too frequently; approximately 4,000 new “never cases” happen each year. These events are so well publicized it is hard to understand how they can still occur. For more information on “never events,” visit our “Never Event” Medical Malpractice page.

Sometimes an injury occurs due to the negligence or reckless actions of a hospital or doctor. Injuries caused by medical malpractice can be physical and mental and can affect the victim’s ability to live their life in the way they used to. An injury can prevent a person from working, living at home, performing the activities that they enjoy, and in some cases, even walking, talking, and thinking normally.

When this is the case, another person or entity is directly responsible for the hurt and financial woes suffered by the victim and their family. As such, they are also responsible for compensating victims for their injuries, suffering, and losses.

If you have been injured as the result of the negligence or reckless actions of doctors or hospital personnel, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer can help you fight for the rights and compensation you deserve.

A “never event” can be deadly. Our attorneys from our Pennsylvania-based law firm have the experience and drive you are seeking and can help protect your rights in a medical negligence claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a “never event,” please fill out our contact form or call (412) 219-9377

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