“Never Event” or Hospital-Acquired Condition
An injury that occurs because of a “never event,” a hospital-acquired condition or a serious reportable incident not only defeats the expectation of medical care and causes injury, but it may also be actionable.
In healthcare settings the terms “never event,” serious reportable event or hospital-acquired condition are used to describe a series of medical diagnoses, developed in a healthcare setting, that are preventable medical conditions through the application of evidence-based guidelines.
These conditions often result in serious injury and devastation for the patients and their families. Shattering the lives of those who live through the medical provider’s error.
The National Quality Forum (“NQF”) has published a list of over 28 “never events” divided into seven categories. The complete list is available at www.qualityforum.org.
Subsequently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) developed a list of hospital-acquired conditions that includes:
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Stage (III) and (IV) pressure ulcers
- Foreign object left in the body after surgery
- Air embolism
- Blood incompatibility
- Vascular catheter-associated infection
- Falls/burns/crushing injuries
- Surgical site infections following certain elective surgeries, including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
- Manifestation of poor control of blood sugar and deep vein thrombosis
Additionally, CMS created a list of serious reportable events that includes:
- Leaving an object in a patient
- Performing the wrong surgery on a patient (surgery on the wrong body part, wrong patient, or the wrong surgery)
- Failing to prevent air embolisms following certain surgeries
- Providing incompatible blood or blood products to patients
These conditions that occur in a healthcare facility are not only indicative of potential medical malpractice but may also be indicative of a problem in the healthcare facility’s ability to provide services.
While a “never event” case may seem easy — they are not. “Never event” cases require a careful understanding of the law to determine whether or not an actionable medical malpractice occurred. The personal injury attorneys at Mesch Clark Rothschild have handled numerous “never event” cases and know how to prosecute these matters and bring resolution to the people affected by these serious medical errors. If either you or a loved one has experienced one of these “never events,” contact the personal injury attorneys at Mesch Clark Rothschild.