NEVER EVENTS AND THE UNTHINKABLE RESULTS OF CARELESSNESS
Imagine going to the hospital for surgery to remove a diseased organ, only to wake up with the wrong organ missing! That’s precisely what happened to Dena Knapp in October of 2016. She went in to have her adrenal gland removed, but the surgeon removed her kidney instead. As a result of this event, Ms. Knapp developed stage three kidney disease – a life-altering and potentially deadly condition that she would not have developed but for this unthinkable mistake.
“Never Events,” a term coined in 2001 by Ken Kizer, former Chief Executive Officer of The National Quality Forum (NQF), are serious medical errors (for example, wrong-site surgery or hospital-acquired pressure ulcers) that quite simply never should happen to a patient. These preventable and costly medical mistakes can change forever the life of a patient and the patient’s family.
A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT – THE ONLY RECOURSE
Ms. Knapp eventually filed a medical negligence suit against the surgeon, Dr. Scott Baker, and The Surgical Institute of South Dakota. Incredibly, the defendants claimed they did not breach the standard of care by removing the kidney instead of the adrenal gland, even though the entire purpose of the procedure was to remove the adrenal gland and only the adrenal gland. Their denials were both ridiculous and detestable.
What happens when healthcare providers are careless?
Never Events include things such as surgery on the wrong body part, retained foreign objects, contaminated drugs or devices, in-hospital suicide, medication errors, maternal or neonatal death during or after a low-risk labor and delivery, falls resulting in serious injury, development of late-stage bed sores (pressure ulcers), serious injury due to failure to communicate test results, and injuries from burns and restraints. Whether it’s a visit to the hospital for the surgical removal of a diseased organ or an extended hospital stay that requires the proper care and medication, healthcare providers should be taking the correct measures to ensure the safety of all patients and avoid Never Events. A list of Never Events is maintained by the NQF and updated periodically.
HOW DO WE STOP NEVER EVENTS FROM HAPPENING?
One way to reduce the incidence of Never Events is to stop paying hospitals when medical bills pile up as a result of these preventable mistakes. Some insurance have begun doing just that, and it has worked well. The move was so good at reducing costly Never Events that some insurance companies have begun keeping their own, expanded lists of adverse events for which they will not pay (and will not allow their insureds to pay, either).
IF A NEVER EVENT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU OR A LOVED ONE, CONTACT OUR MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS TODAY
The occurrence of a Never Event is almost always the result of medical or hospital negligence. Accordingly, Never Events often result in the filing of medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits. The medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm have held doctors and hospitals accountable for preventable adverse events in Cleveland and throughout Ohio since 1976, long before the term “Never Events” was created. We work hard to ensure you receive the maximum compensation allowed by Ohio law. To schedule your free consultation with our attorneys, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online. There are strict deadlines that limit how long injured claimants have to file medical negligence and wrongful death cases, so contact us as soon as possible.