Never Events in Medical Malpractice: When “Never” Actually Happens
Michele Mirman | Medical Malpractice | August 16, 2017
Many medical malpractice claims originate from a subtle physician mistake that creates a serious health issue later in the patient’s life. However, some incidents of medical malpractice errors are so egregious and unthinkable, medical groups and legal organizations categorize them as a never event, or a medical error that never occur if reasonable safety precautions are taken. “Never events” are for the most part entirely preventable, and worse they often put patients at serious risk of immediate harm.
“Never events” in medical malpractice include:
- Operating on the wrong body part or a different patient altogether.
- Intentionally abusing a patient, such as in a nursing home setting.
- Leaving a medical tool inside a patient after surgery finishes.
- Patient escape from mental health facilities.
- Discharging a mentally incapacitated patient with no guardian or caretaker.
- Conducting MRI without removing all metal objects from the site.
- Giving a patient contaminated or expired medication.
- Leaving suicidal patient alone for extended period of time.
- Using contaminated needles and instruments on patients.
- Failing to use sanitary health measures to prevent the spread of infections.
These “never events” are entirely preventable with a minimal amount of physician responsibility.
Placing Liability in Never Events
“Never events” are clear, serious mistakes caused solely and directly by a physician, doctor, nurse, or surgeon. By definition, the injured patient is not to blame for what happened. Despite the medical practitioner’s obvious responsibility, insurance companies and lawyers representing practitioners do not accept responsibility. Instead, hoping that the injured patient will lose interest in the case or worse die, lawyers hired to represent medical practitioners do everything possible to delay the case and blame the patient.
At Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C., our New York City personal injury attorneys are adamant about protecting the rights of injured patients across the state. If you have been hurt in a “never event” that should was completely preventable if even minimum standards of care were met, we want to be the legal professionals who uphold your best interests and pursue maximum compensation, won either through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict. With decades of collective years of legal experience, we are confident we should be your first choice of representation.
Call 212-227-4000 to learn more about your legal options in a medical malpractice claim. Your first consultation is absolutely free!