Many Pennsylvania residents find themselves needing some type of medical care during their lives. For some, that care could include major medical intervention, such as a surgical procedure or prolonged treatment for a serious condition. If this happened to you, you likely initially felt that you were in good hands with the medical team handling your case. And then the unthinkable happened.
Somehow, you become the victim of a “never event,” or a medical scenario that should not have ever occurred to you or any other patient. These events are severe and often have lasting – if not fatal – effects on a patient. For example, you may have undergone an operation only for the surgeon to operate on the wrong part of your body. On the other hand, you may have received the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication. In any case, the incident left you suffering.
Those in the medical field refer to these incidents as “never events” because proper focus, information and knowledge of the case should have prevented the problem from occurring. Some ways that medical professionals can ensure that these events do not take place include:
- Going through training sessions and implementing knowledge learned in those sessions on how to recognize and prevent risk
- Identifying potential risks on a case-by-case basis and taking preventive measures to ensure as best as possible that those risks do not cause harm
- Correctly documenting all actions taken with a patient and ensuring that records and patient medical history are accurate and up to date
Far too often, never events occur because of a breakdown in communication and information. A staff member may forget to update a patient’s chart and cause a patient to receive a double dose of a medication, or records may go missing in transit from one hospital to another, causing staff members to miss critical information. In some cases, the event occurs from purely negligent behavior that results in a patient suffering severe harm.
No matter how the never event occurred in your case, you likely have legal options to consider. Filing a medical malpractice claim for negligence could allow you to pursue compensation to help you handle at least some of the hardships that result from the ordeal. Monetary recompense may allow you to cover additional medical bills resulting from treatment to correct the problem caused by medical staff, lost wages you incurred while trying to recover and other damages permitted under state law.