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‘Never-events’ still plague patients

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A patient doesn’t ever expect that their medical care team will treat them in a manner that results in a worse injury than they originally had. Unfortunately, there are cases when a patient will suffer harm at the expense of their doctors or nurses. Some of the things that can lead to this are known as “never-events.”

A never-event is something that happens that shouldn’t happen under any circumstances. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) have specific incidents that it notes fall under the category of never-events. When these occur, patients can suffer great harm.

Never-events fall under three broad categories – case management, surgical events and medical devices and products. The tie that binds all these is that they could have been prevented if proper protocol was followed as intended.

  • Failing to identify complications related to known risks of a surgery or medical procedure, and depriving the patient the opportunity to immediately address the complication.
  • Things like pressure sores, poor control of blood sugar and trauma from falling while an inpatient are considered case management issues.
  • Surgical never-events include retained objects, certain surgical site infections, performing surgery on the wrong patient or body part and suffering from a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis after certain procedures.
  • Urinary tract infections from catheters and wrong blood-type transfusions are medical devices and products never-events.

For the patients who fall victim to these never-events, living with the damages that might occur is a difficult prospect. Not only might they have to deal with intense life changes, but they may also have considerable financial damages. Sometimes, they might not be able to work. These individuals may choose to seek compensation via a medical malpractice claim.

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