Healthcare providers aren’t perfect, so they can make mistakes. However, if a doctor makes a “mistake” that is below the standards of care and causes serious harm to a patient—it’s not just a “mistake,” it is medical negligence. There are some errors no physician should ever make. The National Quality Forum, a nonprofit that promotes quality in healthcare in the U.S., developed a list of “serious reportable events,” also known as “never events,” that occur in healthcare. The NQF list is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events, which include product and device events.
A product or device event occurs when a healthcare provider causes serious injury or death by misusing a medical device or using a contaminated medical device, drug or biologic medication. If the device functions properly but the physician does not use the device in the recommended manner, and causes serious harm to the patient, this is also considered a “never event.” Such products or devices can include, but are not limited to, catheters, drains, and other specialized tubes, infusion pumps, and ventilators. Finally, a serious injury or death that is associated with an intravascular air embolism while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare setting, could be a never event.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to a misused or contaminated medical device, consider asking a medical-negligence lawyer to investigate the incident and determine whether medical negligence occurred and whether you have any rights against the healthcare provider, who failed to protect patient safety. Pursuing a medical-malpractice claim can be a complex and involved process. The attorneys of Langer and Langer have handled all kinds of medical-malpractice claims for patients throughout Indiana. If you have further questions about medical-malpractice law in Indiana, feel free to contact our offices.