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Medical malpractice, never events

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

If you have a health condition that requires admittance to a California hospital for surgery, you will meet with your surgeon ahead of the procedure, perhaps several times. The surgeon will explain what will take place during the operation. You also have a right to know what risks may be associated with the surgery, as well as what you can expect during recovery. The phrase “never events” refers to issues that often constitute medical malpractice, which may occur while you are lying unconscious on the operating table.

Never events are situations that occur during surgery that are never supposed to happen. Surgeons and their medical teams must adhere to stringent protocol and accepted safety standards within the medical industry. For example, staff must account for every surgical tool and item used during your operation before and after surgery. Never events often result in severe injuries to patients.

These never events often occur because of medical malpractice

When you’re preparing for surgery, a nurse or other medical team member might read the hospital band on your wrist while asking you to confirm your name and birth date. Don’t be surprised if this happens several times. It is critically important for your medical team to make sure they are taking the right patient into surgery.

Sadly, one of the most common types of never events is wrong-patient surgery. One can only imagine the horror of awakening from anesthesia to discover that the procedure performed was meant for another patient. Other types of never events include wrong-site surgery (operating on the wrong body part), leaving foreign objects inside a body, correct patient but wrong procedure, mismatched blood transfusions and medication errors.

Symptoms of injury following a medical procedure

You might have no way of knowing that a surgeon mistakenly left a foreign object inside your body until an infection develops and you experience pain and discomfort or spike a fever. Items left in people’s bodies during surgery include things like surgical gauze, scalpels and drill bits.

If you receive incompatible blood during a transfusion, your immune system will launch an attack against the blood cells because your body will recognize the blood as a pathogen. You might suffer nausea, fever, chills or kidney damage. Some never events, such as medication errors, may be life-threatening.

Seeking accountability for medical malpractice

In California and all other states, anyone who suffers injuries or illness because of medical malpractice may seek financial recovery for their losses by filing a legal claim against parties who are liable. Such parties might include a surgeon, surgical assistants, phlebotomists, hospital administrators and others.