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Events that should never happen in an Arizona hospital

Medicine is one of the most complex and dynamic industries in the world. Every day, things change and more is learned about how to diagnose, manage or treat different conditions. It is up to the doctors, nurses and hospital administrators to stay abreast of these changes and continue learning without losing their commitment to the basic fundamentals and skills that are critical to their job.

Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen and simple mistakes are made that have devastating consequences. While complications can certainly arise in the course of medical treatments and there is no guarantee that any particular action will be a success, there are certain types of medical mistakes and decisions that should never be made in a hospital. These are referred to as "never events."

Never events include errors that can be prevented and seem particularly shocking to people in and out of the medical community. They range from surgical errors to criminal events that happen in a hospital and can be grounds for legal action.

Some types of never events include:

  • Operating on the wrong person or body part
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Leaving medical devices, tools or sponges inside a patient
  • Using medical devices in ways that are not intended
  • Giving patients the wrong dose or type of drug
  • Using the wrong egg or sperm during reproductive procedures
  • Death of a patient due to environmental hazards in a hospital like falls, burns or shocks
  • Abuse of patients on hospital grounds

These are events that are so preventable there is usually no good reason for them to happen. They can also have a devastating, permanent impact on victims and could even result in death.

Even though these events may be relatively rare, they still happen and when it comes to preventable medical errors, even one incident is too many.

Victims of injuries or illnesses suffered as a result of a never event and their families need to understand that they have the right to hold responsible the party or parties who made mistakes in their care or treatment. Lawsuits and money cannot undo the damage that has been done, but they can help people find some closure and get the financial compensation they deserve.

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