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What are never events?

A common term heard in medical malpractice cases is a “never event.” In short, never events are extreme medical accidents or situations that should not have happened.

However, there is a lot more to never events than that. Never events include a wide range of categories, details and situations. Here is a quick look at these events in the medical field.

The definition of a never event

A never event is a critical medical error resulting from negligence. It often results in severe consequences, including patient death.

The reason that a never event should never happen is that they are usually entirely avoidable. Medical professionals know the risks and consequences of never events. And they are trained to take necessary measures to avoid them.

If physicians meet the standard of care that they owe every one of their patients, then the risk of a never event occurring is very low. It is when medical professionals fall short of that standard when never events can occur.

The most common medical never events

The comprehensive list of these events include:

  • Wrong-site or wrong-patient surgeries
  • Improper anesthesia dose or administration
  • Defective devices or prescriptions
  • Physical or sexual abuse in a medical center
  • Unsafe medical procedures

These never events may sound quite familiar. Many of them are common medical malpractice claims. Unfortunately, these situations that should never happen do indeed occur. While some are rare, medical negligence does result in never events happening in Washington as well as across the nation.

Remember, regardless of how rare some never events may be, anyone who experiences a never event deserves compensation.