With a name like “never events,” it would seem these medical events are nonexistent, or at least rare. Unfortunately, adverse and preventable medical events are becoming more and more common.
The National Quality Forum has identified 28 medical events that should never happen. These are errors that are inexcusable and completely avoidable. Rather than minor errors, most of these never events are egregious and result in permanent injury or patient death.
What Are Never Events?
The term “never event” started popping up around the year 2001 when Dr. Ken Kizer of the National Quality Forum used it to describe shocking medical mistakes. All certified hospitals and medical care facilities are required to report adverse events to The Joint Commission.
The Joint Commission then released a report detailing the most common types of never events that were reported. As of 2009, wrong-site surgery was the most common never event.
The other types of never events in the report included: wrong-patient surgery, foreign objects left in after surgery, surgical fires, patient suicide, falls and trauma from a patient transfer, medication errors, maternal death or disability related to labor and delivery. All of these mistakes can be avoided if proper safety protocols are followed.
The classification of Never Events in healthcare.
Wrong-site surgery is an event involving the correct operation on the wrong body part. For example, a surgeon operating on a healthy knee while leaving the one affected by the ACL injury untouched. Wrong-site surgery accounted for just over 13 percent of all adverse medical events (including non-never events).
Patient suicide was the second most common never event reported. When a patient is admitted to a hospital, that healthcare facility is responsible for the care of that patient. The patient should be adequately monitored as well as protected from harm. When a patient commits suicide or attempts to commit suicide while under hospital care, the hospital could be held responsible.
What are some other types of never events?
The National Quality Forum lists multiple surgical errors on its list, including surgery on the wrong patient and retention of a foreign object after surgery. There are also criminal acts against patients included on this list, such as sexual assault on a patient and battery on a patient.
All of these never events are completely avoidable, which means that when they occur, the patient or the patient’s family members can bring a claim against the responsible parties.
Who is the responsible party when it comes to medical malpractice never events?
Typically, victims can hold individual doctors, nurses, etc. liable in addition to the actual healthcare facility. There is much case-by-case difference when identifying the defendant in a medical malpractice case.
Medical malpractice never events can have devastating consequences for the victims and their families. In some cases, the patient may suffer from permanent disability, disfigurement, or even death as a result of the medical care they received. Furthermore, these errors can be extremely costly for patients and their families to recover from financially.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are often necessary in order to seek justice and appropriate compensation for the victims and their families. It is important to contact a medical malpractice attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases as soon as possible.
How to prove medical malpractice?
In cases such as this, your Las Vegas personal injury attorney will have to establish the following:
- There was an established duty of care between doctor and patient
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- That breach of duty to care resulted in the patient’s injury/demise
When a never event occurs, it is important to seek legal advice right away. Many states have laws that limit the amount of time an injured party has to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Legal representation can help ensure the best possible outcome and protect the rights of the victim and their family members.
Can Never Events be Prevented?
It is important to remember that medical malpractice never events can be prevented. Careful planning and thorough communication among all members of a medical team are essential in avoiding these preventable errors. Additionally, proper training for healthcare professionals and accurate documentation of patient care should be a priority for any hospital or medical facility.
To ensure safety, patients should always ask questions about their treatment plan and make sure that they understand the terms of the care they will be receiving.
If you or someone you care about was injured do to a medical malpractice never event, it is important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
Medical malpractice never events can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. In some cases, the patient may experience long-term physical or emotional pain due to the medical care they received.
Financial costs associated with medical malpractice never events can be difficult to recover from, as well. It is important that those affected by these preventable errors seek legal recourse in order to seek compensation and justice.
Call Shook & Stone’s Las Vegas Medical Malpractice lawyers at (702) 570-0000 or fill out our form for a free consultation.