“Never events:” Worst-case medical scenarios

| May 12, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

You unquestionably have the right as a resident in Southern Georgia or elsewhere across the state to receive quality medical care when you need it.

That doesn’t mean perfect care delivery. After all, doctors and other health care providers are only human.

It does imply competency, though. Medical licenses to practice are issued only to individuals who have completed arduous and years’-long vetting requirements.

And thus, medical actors who have secured professional licensure are presumed to know what they are doing. They operate (both figuratively and literally) pursuant to an industry-recognized standard of care. An established Georgia personal injury legal source duly notes that the standard is “the accepted norm for medical professionals to adhere to when they care for patients.”

Practitioners are justly held to that standard, and for this obvious reason: Performance that falls beneath it can yield egregious results for patients and their loved ones. Medical acts or omissions grounded in negligence routinely spawn catastrophic – even fatal – consequences in care settings across the country.

All medical outcomes compromised by deficient care are notably concerning, of course. Today’s blog post spotlights below an especially stark and top-tier industry concern posing harm to patients.

The flatly alarming medical realm of so-called “never events”

The term “never event” immediately conjures up a frightening type of image and scenario, doesn’t it?

As well it should. The online Patient Safety Forum stresses that never events refer “to particularly shocking medical errors.” In a nutshell, never events are starkly egregious provider mistakes that should flatly never happen. When they do, patient outcomes can be horrifically adverse.

Unambiguous, serious and preventable: never event examples

Never events have been recognized and chronicled by medical regulators for more than a generation. They are presently enumerated in a list of nearly 30 “serious reportable events” broken down into categories. Here are some prominent entrants:

  • Monumental surgical errors (e.g., wrong-site, wrong-operation and wrong-patient operations; foreign objects like clamps and sponges left inside patients post-surgery)
  • Deficiencies in medical products and devices
  • Inadequate in-house care/supervision leading to patient harm
  • Medication errors (wrong dose, wrong drug, administration to wrong patient and more)
  • Radiological mistakes in lab settings (for example, wrong test or patient exposure to excessive radiation)
  • Criminal negligence leading to patient harm, such as staff-authored physical abuse or sexual assault

Never events are not commonly reported outcomes in the nation’s health facilities, but they do occur.

Any medical mistake linked with provider negligence and a lapse in exercising due care that harms a patient is flatly inexcusable.

Moreover, victims and their families have a legal right to pursue a meaningful remedy marked by maximum compensation for harms suffered. A proven and empathetic medical malpractice legal team can provide further information.