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Do you understand the details of a Never Event?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2017 | Medical Malpractice |

In 2001, Ken Kizer, MD coined the phrase “Never Event.” In short, this is nothing more than a shocking medical error, such as performing surgery on the wrong patient, which should never occur.

In 2002, the National Quality Forum outlined 27 Never Events. However, the list has grown over the years, and by 2011 it had reached 29. These are grouped into a variety of categories:

— Patient protection

— Product or device

— Surgical

— Environmental

— Care management

— Radiologic

— Criminal

As a patient, you need to remember two things:

— Never Events are extremely rare.

— Despite the rarity, it’s always possible that you could be the victim of such an event.

According to a 2006 study, a typical hospital may experience a Never Event, such as a wrong site surgery, every five to ten years.

While it’s good to know that this doesn’t come about often, you should also keep this statistic in mind: 71 percent of Never Events reported to the Joint Commission over the last 12 years have resulted in a fatality.

As a patient, you expect nothing but the best care. This is particularly true when you visit a hospital.

While most hospitals and medical professionals provide high quality and reliable care, there are times when mistakes are made. If a Never Event occurs, there is a good chance that the patient will pass away or suffer a serious injury or illness as a result.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Never Event, don’t hesitate to seek additional medical assistance while also learning more about your legal rights.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “Never Events,” accessed March 29, 2017

Steven I. Goldman

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