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Medical malpractice: Did a never event cause you injury?

| Oct 14, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

When you learned that your primary care physician was recommending surgery at a California hospital to help treat or resolve an adverse health issue, you may have felt simultaneously relieved yet nervous. On one hand, it undoubtedly felt good knowing there was a solution to your problem.

On the other hand, however, you may have experienced immediate stress worrying whether you would receive high-quality care throughout the process of pre-surgery treatment, the operation itself and post-surgical care. You have good reason to be concerned, considering the number of medical malpractice incidents there are in this state and others.

What is a never event?

A “never event” is an incident that occurs during medical treatment that should never occur. Such incidents typically occur due to medical negligence. As you know, there are stringent regulations and protocol that govern the actions of doctors, nurses, surgeons, lab technicians and other medical staff members.

If you suffer injury due to substandard care or a specific never event, you might wind up in worse condition after surgery than you were in to start. What makes never events so egregious and stressful is that they are typically easily preventable.

Most common types of never events

The following list includes various categories of never events that may adversely affect your health while undergoing surgery or pre-surgery/post-surgery treatment or care:

  • Surgical or procedural errors: If a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside your body or operates on the wrong body part, you have fallen victim to a never event.
  • Product or device defects or mistakes: Your medical team is responsible for making sure any and all equipment, devices or products used in your treatment plan are working properly and safe to use in your specific condition.
  • Care management never events: Any type of negligence regarding medication, blood products, radiology, lab work, labor and delivery or other patient care can result in serious, even life-threatening injury.
  • Environmental errors: Perhaps you will need oxygen while undergoing medical treatment in a hospital or will need to use bed restraints for safety. Medical team errors regarding such issues place you at risk for serious injuries.
  • Criminal activity: You would not expect the surgeon who performs your operation to be an imposter, but it has happened in the past. Any type of abuse of a patient or illegal activity of a medical team member may constitute a criminal never event.

There are other issues that would qualify as never events if you suffer injury during medical treatment or care. You can imagine the horror of awakening after surgery to learn that the surgeon had performed the wrong procedure or operated on the wrong body part.

Recovering from a never event can be an arduous process

If a nurse overdoses your medication, you might become severely ill or die. There are no excuses for never events to occur in a California hospital because medical staff members know exactly how to avoid them.

You should not have to bear the financial burdens associated with a medical malpractice incident. Physical recovery is challenging enough without considering the emotional trauma and financial distress that may also be associated with your condition. Many medical malpractice victims seek recovery for their losses by filing legal claims against those responsible for their injuries.