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What Are Never Events?

Medical errors typically come down to a deviation from the normal care plan. In other cases, the error is so egregious and obvious that it should have been noticed and prevented at the outset. These situations should never happen, which exactly why they’re called ‘never events.’

What Are Never Events?

A never event is an example of medical malpractice that should have been immediately identified and prevented. It is an example of negligence so severe that it brings the medical institution’s credibility and integrity into question, and it almost always leads to a safety investigation by the Board of Medicine.

Typically, never events are either fatal or present long-term complications that may impact a patient’s wellbeing. Never events aren’t exclusive to errors in medication and surgery. They may also include criminal conduct in a healthcare institution.

Examples of Never Events

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has laid out 28 specific and reportable examples of never events. While all of these are severe and inexcusable, a few examples include:

  • Surgery on the incorrect patient or incorrect part of the body

  • Foreign object left inside a patient during surgery

  • Administering an incompatible blood transfusion

  • Death due to medication error or contaminated materials

  • Administered incorrect sperm/egg donation

  • Stage 3 or Stage 4 bedsores developed in a healthcare facility

  • Discharging an infant to the incorrect family

  • Patient abduction or disappearance from a healthcare facility

  • Death in a healthcare facility due to shock, gas poisoning, or burns

  • Patient violently assaulted or sexually assaulted by medical staff.

There is no excuse for these events. Each of these examples is dangerous negligence or worse and the pain and trauma they leave may impact families for the rest of their lives.

If you or someone you love experienced a never event, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced Florida personal injury attorney from Gunn Law Group P.A. to evaluate your case, call (813) 993-1448 or send us an email.

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