Those in the medical profession describe some mistakes as "never events" despite the fact that they occur far more often than patients realize. You would think that the name would imply these things just don't happen. What it actually means is that it should never happen. That distinction provides the basis for the urgency of the medical field to prevent these events.
As a patient, you may be just as anxious for the medical profession to take whatever measures are necessary to prevent such events from ever happening again.
Okay, so what does the medical profession consider a never event?
The simplest definition is a shocking event that never should have happened. All never events include the following elements:
- Clearly measurable
- Clearly identifiable
- Results in serious disability or death
It may surprise you to know that the latest tally of these types of events reached 29. Even though they cross seven different categories, this article will only focus on four.
Failure to protect a patient
While you are in the care of medical professionals, the following should never occur:
- Attempted or successful suicide
- Questionable discharge
If you lost a loved one due to one of these events, you may need to question the medical personnel in charge of caring for your loved one.
Failure to adequately manage patient care
During your stay in a hospital, you have the right not to suffer from the following lapses in the standard of care:
- Medication errors
- Communication failures
- Unsafe blood product administration
- Loss of an irreplaceable specimen
- Labor and delivery mistakes
- Pressure ulcers
- Insemination of wrong egg or sperm
Any of these mistakes could cause you serious and debilitating injury or death.
Failure of devices or products used on patients
During your stay in a medical facility, you may need treatments involving certain devices or products. You should never suffer harm due to any of the following:
- Intravascular air embolism
- Contaminated biologics, devices or medications
- Unapproved use of devices or products
Most manufacturers provide detailed instructions regarding the use of their products. If one uses a product incorrectly or it somehow becomes contaminated at the hospital, your health could be in jeopardy.
Failures during surgical procedures
You may be among the many people here in Tucson who occasionally hears horror stories about surgeries. Many of those seemingly fantastic stories, such as the ones below, actually do happen:
- Wrong patient
- Wrong procedure
- Wrong side of the body
- Foreign object left in the body
Another big concern is anesthesia errors either during or after the procedure.
Have you experienced any of these never events?
If you became the victim of a never event, you may be able to pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered. You may receive recompense for the medical costs, lost wages and other damages, such as pain and suffering, which the event forced you to endure. You may also help prevent anyone else from ever having to experience the same catastrophic experience.
Medical malpractice claims can be tricky, so you may greatly benefit from involving an experienced attorney to assist you and advocate for you during an already difficult time.