While you are in a medical setting, you should feel safe and confident that your care and protection are always the healthcare providers’ top priority. These are fair expectations. However, expectations are not always met, and the outcome can be a senseless medical injury—or even death. Some examples of such tragedies are burns, electrical shock, wrong gas exposure, and misuse of restraints or bedrails. In addition, a patient’s death or injury due to metal exposure during an MRI is preventable. All of these examples are considered “never events,” because they are mistakes that should never occur in a medical setting.
A healthcare organization called the National Quality Forum (NQF) developed a list of “serious reportable events,” also known as “never events,” that occur in healthcare. This set is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events. The NQF’s website also lists environmental and radiological “never events.”
You may review the seven categories of never events. Remember that if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice and your event does not appear on the list, it does not mean you do not have a medical-malpractice claim. The never-event list simply includes conduct that the NQF has deemed so egregious it should never happen. Your healthcare provider is always required to provide you with medical care that meets or exceeds the standard of care.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or death due to an environmental or radiological never event, consider discussing the incident with a medical-negligence lawyer. He or she can determine whether medical negligence occurred and whether you have any rights against the healthcare provider in failing to protect the patient. Pursuing a medical-malpractice claim can be a complex and involved process. The Langer and Langer attorneys have handled all kinds of medical-malpractice claims throughout Indiana. If you have further questions about Indiana’s medical-malpractice laws, feel free to contact our offices.