Some medical errors are so horrible that they should never happen to any patient in New Jersey under any circumstances. These mistakes could permanently disfigure someone, worsen their condition, introduce a new egregious malady or lead to death. Here’s what a “never event” is means in the medical field.
What is a “never event”?
In 2001, the former CEO of National Quality Forum introduced the term “never event” to describe shocking medical errors that should never happen. These adverse events are all preventable and thus are considered medical malpractice because they occur mostly due to negligence. Surprisingly, they are more common than you think.
Why do never events occur?
Never events happen because of basic human error, such as poor communication channels among the medical staff or a practitioner and a patient, system breakdowns, fatigue, technical errors, time constraints and team composition. Some of the worst reasons include a medical practitioner trying to bend or break a rule to avoid the required checklist or confirmation bias.
Types of never events
Never events can be grouped into six categories. They include:
- Surgical errors – A surgeon leaves an object inside the body, performs a procedure on the wrong patient or body part, or performs a wrong surgical procedure.
- Radiological events – This occurs when staff or a patient comes with a metallic object in the radiology room, especially the MRI area.
- Environmental events – A patient slides and falls while walking on a slippery floor, resulting in a serious disability or death, or gets electrocuted by a bare wire hanging around the facility.
- Care management events – A patient receives the wrong medication, blood product, or egg or sperm during artificial insemination.
- Patient protection events – While being taken care of, a patient disappears, attempts suicide or is unable to make decisions when released from care.
- Product device events – A patient can get a serious injury or die when a doctor uses the wrong device on them or as a result of intravascular air embolism occurring during treatment.
Never events are often difficult to fix. You may want to file a claim against the responsible facility or person if you or your loved one is a victim.