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What Are “Never Events”?

The term “never events” is a phrase used to describe the most severe medical errors that can occur in healthcare settings. Never events are generally the basis for medical malpractice claims and include offenses such as surgical errors, leaving a foreign object in the body, prescribing the wrong medication, etc. This blog will define never events and explain how they can be harmful.

An Overview of Never Events

Never events are preventable incidents that result in serious injury or death to patients due to negligence or error on behalf of a healthcare provider. These events are nearly always preventable if proper safety protocols are followed and are considered by many to be inexcusable due to their avoidable nature.

What is Considered a Never Event?

Types of never events include infections acquired while in the hospital, wrong site surgery, leaving a foreign object inside a patient's body after surgery (e.g., sponge, gauze), medication errors, falls resulting in serious injury or death, failure to properly diagnose an illness or condition resulting in serious injury or death, and failure to provide timely medical care resulting in serious injury or death.

How Can Never Events Be Harmful?

The consequences of never events can be devastating for patients and their families. In addition to physical harm caused by these incidents, victims may experience psychological distress due to fear of further injury or even death from similar mistakes occurring again at other healthcare facilities.

Families who have experienced a loved one’s never event may be burdened with large medical bills associated with treating their loved one's injuries as well as any long-term care costs associated with permanent disability. Furthermore, victims of never events often experience difficulties returning to work due to pain, limited mobility or other conditions related to their injuries sustained during these preventable incidents.

Taking Legal Action

Due to the carelessness often associated with never events, victims and their families may be able to take legal action in the form of a medical malpractice claim. The team at Site:BusinessName} can help you understand your legal rights and work to create a solid case on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling (701) 402-6644.