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What Is a “Never Event?”

There are some severe medical mistakes that are so egregious they are referred to as “never events.” This term is used to describe serious patient safety incidents that should never happen due to the fact that they can cause significant harm – or even death – to patients.

In this blog post, we will discuss what exactly a “never event” is, provide some examples of never events, and we will outline the consequences of these mistakes for both patients and healthcare providers. Read on to learn more of the details you may not know about never events.

What Is a Never Event?

So, what is a “never event?” These events refer to errors made in medical care that are clearly identifiable, preventable, and serious in their consequences.

They are called “never events” because they should never happen – but unfortunately, they do from time to time. Some relatively common examples of “never events” include leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body after surgery, performing the wrong procedure on a patient, or giving a patient the wrong medication.

The Consequences of Never Events

These medical mistakes can have devastating and lasting consequences for the patients that suffer from them. In some cases, “never events” can lead to lifelong disability or even a loss of life. And often, when patients do survive these mistakes, they typically face a long and hard road to recovery – both physically and emotionally. The psychological effects of surviving a “never event” can be significant, and patients may consistently struggle with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to the hefty physical and psychological consequences for patients, “never events” also have serious legal and financial implications for healthcare providers. When these mistakes occur, the hospitals and health systems responsible can be hit with lawsuits – which can often be very costly. In some cases, insurers may wrongfully refuse to pay for care that is related to a “never event.” And in extreme cases, healthcare providers may even lose their medical licenses.

More Examples of Never Events

Here are a few additional examples of “never events” that have occurred in healthcare settings:

  • A patient who underwent surgery to have their appendix removed was instead provided with a hysterectomy.
  • A patient who was supposed to receive a blood transfusion was given a saline solution instead.
  • A newborn baby was accidentally discharged from the hospital with the wrong family.

As you can see, “never events” can have serious and even life-threatening consequences for the patients that endure them. These mistakes are completely preventable, but unfortunately, they do occur – often with devastating results. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a “never event,” it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

We’re Here to Help with Your Never Event Case

If you’ve sustained harm as a result of a medical provider’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation to help cover your losses. You should never have to endure an injury as a result of another’s wrongdoing—especially if that person is in a position of trust, such as your healthcare provider.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled team right away with any questions you may have about your medical malpractice case or the legal process in general. We’ve helped many other people in similar situations and we are prepared to do the same for you. You are not alone in this situation—we are here and happy to help you with your case now.

Contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Cherundolo Law Firm, PLLC today by calling (315) 544-3332 or by filling out our online contact form.