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Paul Jacquart
Paul Jacquart
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Medical Malpractice "Never Events"

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The National Quality Forum, which identifies itself as "a not-for-profit membership organization created to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting", has listed 28 medical errors as "never events", meaning they should never happen in a healthcare setting. These "never events" are printed in this About.com Patient Empowerment link. Some examples from the link are included below. Our firm has represented clients who have suffered from a number of the "never events" listed below. If you or a loved one have experienced a "never event", you should contact an attorney for advice concerning your legal rights.

Surgical Events

  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Wrong surgical procedure on a patient
  • Retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure
  • Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death in a normal healthy patient

Product or Device Events

  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used or functions other than as intended
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in a healthcare facility

Patient Protection Events

  • Infant discharged to the wrong person
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with patient disappearance for more than four hours
  • Patient suicide, or attempted suicide resulting in serious disability, while being cared for in a healthcare facility

Care Management Events

  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO-incompatible blood or blood products (transfusion of the wrong blood type)
  • Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery on a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Death or serious disability (kernicterus) associated with failure to identify and treat jaundice in newborns
  • Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy

Environmental Events

  • Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility