If you undergo surgery or any type of medical procedure in California, you entrust your health to a team of professionals obligated to adhere to state laws and accepted safety standards while providing your treatment or care. While there is always an inherent risk involved, you should not have to worry about substandard care. Sadly, however, medical malpractice often occurs, with many such incidents caused by never events.
This term refers to medical incidents that take place, often during surgery but not always, that result in patient injuries that were entirely preventable and caused by negligence. These incidents should never occur, hence the term used to describe them. If you suffer injury because of a medical never event, you may have grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim in civil court.
Common never events that often constitute medical malpractice
As mentioned in the previous section, many never events occur in conjunction with surgical procedures. However, such negligence also may be associated with patient protection, care management, radiology and other aspects of medical care. The following list includes numerous types of never events that often result in severe, perhaps even fatal, injuries to California medical patients:
- Surgery performed on the wrong patient or wrong body part
- Foreign objects left inside a patient following surgery
- Medication errors
- Injury or death due to metallic object in MRI area
- Patient abuse or assault
Such things should never happen in a medical setting. There are systems and protocols in place to avoid them. These and other never events are responsible for thousands of patient injuries and deaths throughout the country each year.
Being a proactive patient may help avoid never events
The more you know about the surgery, treatment or medication you are going to receive at a California medical facility, the better able to avoid a never event you might be. For example, if you think a nurse is about to administer the wrong medication, you can ask him or her to check for confirmation. However, if you are unconscious during surgery, you have no idea whether the surgeon has left an object in your body that does not belong there or whether he or she is performing the correct procedure.
In fact, it is not your responsibility to make sure medical professionals do their jobs right. There are state laws to protect patients and recourse available to those who have fallen victim to medical malpractice. If you have suffered injury or illness because of a never event, you have a right to seek restitution for damages.