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Medical Malpractice And Never Events


When you are sick or injured, you visit a doctor and rely on their competence and knowledge concerning your diagnosis and the treatment you receive. You expect them to make good decisions and to provide the best possible care for your situation. Doctors are only human, however. They make mistakes and sometimes, those errors are so egregious they are called ‘never events’ and these are always a result of medical malpractice.

What is a Never Event? 

In its simplest terms, a never event is an error that is so serious, it is inexcusable. A never event is a mistake that should never occur, under any condition. Some of the most common examples of never events include:

  • Surgical errors: Mistakes that happen during surgery are considered never events. Some of the most common surgical errors include operating on the wrong body part or patient and leaving a surgical instrument, such as sponges, inside a patient.
  • Mistakes involving devices or products: Contaminated devices and defective drugs that result in the death of a patient are also considered never events.
  • Environmental events: Never events involving the environment include burn injuries, electric shock, oxygen lines containing the incorrect gas, and use of restraints that cause injury or death.
  • Radiological events: Metal objects should never be allowed into the MRI area, as it could result in serious injury or death. When it does, it is a never event.
  • Patient protection errors: When patients are abandoned or are discharged to an unauthorized person and it causes injury or death, it is a never event.
  • Medical care management mistakes: There are multiple never events that fall into this category. They include the unsafe administration of blood products, medication mistakes, the loss of a biological specimen, and injury or death caused by a lack of follow-up care.

How Common are Never Events? 

Although never events are considered rare, they still happen more than most people think. The following three alarming statistics were compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

  • Over 4,000 surgical events happen every year in the United States.
  • On average, any hospital can experience a wrong-site surgery case once every five to ten years.
  • The majority of never events, 71 percent, reported to The Joint Commission between 1995 and 2015.

What to Do After a Never Event

 Again, never events get their name because they should never happen. If you have suffered an injury or lost someone you love to a never event, you likely have a medical malpractice case. By filing a lawsuit against the hospital or healthcare professional that caused your injury. It is critical to speak to a Knoxville medical malpractice attorney who can advise you of the laws that govern these cases.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Today 

At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney can help after a never event. We can guide you through the process and make sure your rights are upheld so you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to request a free consultation.




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