What Is a Never Event in a Medical Malpractice Case?

When you visit a doctor, you rely on their knowledge and competence regarding your medical care, diagnosis, and treatment. You depend on them to make the right decisions and to provide you with the best outcome, but doctors aren’t perfect. While it’s understandable that some mistakes may happen, others should never occur. These egregious errors are called “never events” and are considered to be a form of medical malpractice.

What is a Never Event?

A never event is a mistake so extreme and inexcusable, that it should never occur, under any condition. The following is a list of the mistakes that are defined as never events:

  • Surgical mistakes: Errors occurring during surgery that are considered never events include performing surgery on the wrong body part or leaving an item inside a patient’s body.
  • Product or device mistakes: Never events involving products or devices include the misuse of a device or the use of a contaminated device.
  • Environmental events: These never events include oxygen lines containing the wrong gas, electrical shock, and burn injuries.
  • Radiological events: If a metal object is introduced into the MRI area and it causes serious injury or death, it is considered a never event.
  • Patient protection mistakes: When a patient who is unable to care of themselves is discharged to someone who is not an authorized person, or the patient disappears from the hospital, and they are injured or killed, it may be considered a never event.
  • Medical care management events: These never events include medication errors, harm to a mother or baby during childbirth, artificial insemination with the wrong donor egg or sperm, or the serious injury or death of a patient due to a failure to provide adequate follow-up care.
  • Criminal acts: If medical care is provided by someone who is impersonating a medical professional, or there is sexual or physical abuse of a patient by a doctor or nurse, it is considered a never event.

If you believe you were the victim of a never event, please contact our Montgomery County medical malpractice lawyers at Morris Wilson, P.C. today. We can help you recover damages for past and future medical care and lost wages.

Call (610) 810-2082 or contact us online today.


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