The other "never events" that could endanger your life

If you have ever heard the term "never event" when it comes to medical mistakes, you probably know that these encompass medical mistakes for which there is no excuse, and which are preventable. You may associate these types of events with surgical errors, and you would be right.

However, other never events happen that you may not be aware of that could also endanger your life or cause you serious injuries.

Other never events that do not involve surgery

Most people focus on surgical errors that qualify as never events, but you may want to be aware of the following potential never events that you may not know about:

  • You receive contaminated devices, biologics or drugs.
  • The hospital releases or discharges you to an unauthorized person when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
  • A metallic object gets into the MRI area and causes you injury.
  • You suffer an electric shock in the hospital.
  • You suffer injury from the misuse or malfunction of a medical device.
  • You receive the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the right medication.
  • You receive medication at the wrong time or in the wrong preparation.
  • You receive medication through the wrong rate or the wrong method of administration.
  • You fall while under the care of hospital staff members.
  • Hospital staff members may fail to communicate pathology, lab or radiology test results.
  • You could suffer an intravascular air embolism.

These are only a sampling of the never events that can occur while in the care of a medical facility. As you can see, these events should never happen. Proper training and attention to detail may prevent most of these issues from happening. However, they do happen, and you could end up suffering serious injuries as a result. You may require a significant amount of medical care to correct one of these never events, and your recovery could take significantly longer if you can obtain a full recovery.

A time that should have been a simple procedure or hospital stay may have turned into a nightmare for you and your family. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and the financial losses you incurred due to a never event. You may also help inspire changes at the medical facility that could prevent such an event from ever happening again.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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