Never Events and Medical Malpractice

A gavel and a stethoscope on a desk of a medical malpractice lawyer revising documents.

There are certain medical errors that should never occur, as they are completely preventable. Medical procedures often come with many risks, but these should not include simple errors that must be avoided at all costs. Many medical malpractice cases involve some of these errors that have been termed “never events,” a reasonable label, as no one would ever want them to occur.

What Is a “Never Event?”

There are specific criteria that indicate what the medical field has coined a “never event.” It is not just generally preventable mistakes, but egregious errors that can cause serious harm to the patient. These events are quantifiable and measurable, and often indicate a critical problem within the healthcare setting or system.

Surgical Never Events

One of the more serious never event categories that can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit is surgical. Most people cringe at the idea of a preventable error occurring during surgery. Surgical never events, which unfortunately do and have occurred, include:

  • Wrong body part operations
  • Surgical instruments left inside patient
  • Wrong patient
  • Wrong procedure

Since these events result in serious harm or death and should be preventable, victims of these errors often have a legitimate medical malpractice claim.

Care Never Events

Medical professionals are held to a high standard when it comes to the care for their patients. When a person is seriously harmed or a life is lost due to sub-standard care, it can be identified as a “never event.” Some of the care management errors that should never occur include:

  • Medication errors – wrong drug, dosage, patient or administration
  • Advanced pressure ulcers (bed sores) occurring on patients within a care facility
  • Maternal death during a routine or low-risk childbirth
  • Patient death or serious disability caused by spinal manipulation

There are many other types of “never events,” such as a hospital giving parents the wrong child or contaminated drugs causing injury/death. These can also include criminal actions or unsafe environments that cause serious harm to patients.

If you or a loved one have experienced harm from a medical “never event,” you should consult our legal team at Taylor Anderson Law Firm. Call our office in Charleston, SC to schedule a free consultation.

Posted on behalf of Taylor Anderson Law Firm

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