Darien, Ill. — While no doctor intends to harm a patient, even the most skilled and well-intentioned medical professionals can make mistakes -- mistakes that should never happen. Yet there are medical mistakes so serious, so outrageous, that they are called "Never Events." Insure.com, which owns and operates a consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers, examines these cases and their resultant claims in a new report.

The surgical sponge is one of the most common objects left in patients after surgery. A 2003 study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that roughly 4,000 sponges are accidentally left inside patients annually. In at least 88% of these cases, the medical staff had falsely recorded a correct sponge count after surgery. The study, focusing on 54 patients who filed claims for a Never Events, found that 69% of the foreign objects left behind after surgery were sponges and 31% were medical instruments. Thirty-seven of those patients required corrective surgery and one died.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access