A never event is what we call a complete and utter fuck up of almost unimaginable proportions. It is chopping off the wrong leg, giving someone HIV infected blood or doing the wrong operation on a patient. We have systems in place to protect us from never events, and thankfully we don’t get many of them. What we do get is “can you believe it” events. I don’t want to list Bighospital’s department of general surgery recent fuck ups (who knows who could be reading this) but there tends to be one every few months that make you put both hands on your head and emit a pained “no, my god, he didn’t”.
One such thing happened recently in Bighospital, an operation I had assisted at and done absolutely bugger all of, other than close the skin. The fuck up has involved inadvertently suturing in a something (let’s say it is a drain although it isn’t ) and it could not be removed. So the patient had to go back to theatre to have the something removed, a quick procedure but unnecessary had my boss not got this thing stuck.
I wasn’t doing the operation, I am familiar with it but it was the first time I had operated with this particular surgeon and he did it differently to my other bosses. Infuriatingly, he has put me down on the operation note as the surgeon who has done this operation. I did nothing, apart from some skin sutures and holding the camera, he did it all.
He didn’t know that there would be a complication but he wanted to seem to everyone like he was Mr Cool, letting me do this more complex way of dealing with a simple problem instead of doing it himself. A lie in other words. I’ve learnt a lesson, which is to check every op note this guy writes and make sure I am not credited with an operation I haven’t done. My log book is marvellous anyway, I don’t need to vajazzle it.