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What are "never events?"

"Never events" are the kind of surgical errors made by doctors and other medical practitioners that are so patently wrong and obvious that they should never have happened in the ordinary course of medical practice. Such never events may include wrong-site surgery, treatment delay resulting in severe disabilities or even the patient falling in the hospital due to the fault of a medical practitioner, doctor or nurse.

Many Maryland patients have become victims to what is now referred to as never event surgical errors. Such patently obvious mistakes are regarded by many in the legal industry as well as the medical field as gross medical malpractice or gross medical negligence. In many cases, the victim as well the victim's family members may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital or the surgeon who is responsible for a never event surgical error with the help of an attorney.

In the medical community's defense, never events have been found to be very rare because, in most cases, surgeries are handled by medical practitioners who have had years of practice in the field. However, whenever a never event surgical error does occur, it has the potential to be catastrophic for the victim as well as for the victim's family. A staggering 71 percent of never event surgical errors have resulted in the patient's death.

Approximately 4,000 cases of never events are reported to the authorities every year in the United States. It has also been determined by Maryland authorities that most never event surgical errors can be attributed to improper and irregular safety measures taken by the hospital, the nursing home or even the medical practitioners themselves.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "Never events," December 2014

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