Surgical “Never Events” Indicate Medical Negligence and Should be Investigated

Bad Surgery Outcomes Not Necessarily Medical Malpractice – Surgical Never Events by Definition Should Never Happen and Suggest Medical Negligence

Surgery does not guarantee the health outcome that you may be hoping for. In fact, many surgeries do not accomplish their objectives. There is no medical malpractice claim for a bad outcome. Likewise, there are many risks to surgery. Sometimes bad things happen in surgery at no fault of the medical providers. There is not medical malpractice claim here either. These results can be explained by the “standard of care” threshold for medical malpractice claims in New Mexico.

“Never Events” are different. Never events in medical care, including surgery, should never happen. When they do, medical negligence is likely the cause.

There are a couple of lists of never events in hospitals that lead to hospital acquired conditions. The original list of never events was put out by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (Department of Health and Human Services). Medicare soon followed suit with its own list which were phrased not in terms of never events but in non-compensable hospital acquired conditions.

Keep in mind that these relate to hospital acquired conditions alone. They do not include outpatient procedures. Why is this important? Because it is estimated that over 400,000 Americans each year die from preventable medical error in hospitals. Logic would suggest that the number for non-lethal errors is exponentially higher.

Unfortunately, there are no accurate numbers on non-lethal errors. In fact, it has been argued that the lethal numbers are perhaps not entirely accurate and may be understated. Surgical errors in particular are often not reported or well documented. This means that the injured patient or the deceased patient’s loved ones often have no idea what happened. This means in turn the only way to get answers is typically through the legal process.

The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. have significant experience in medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or death as result of one of these errors and you would like a review of the situation, we can be reached at (505) 242-5958.

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