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Did you experience a 'never-event?'

There is a term in the medical community, which refers to some situations as "never-events." These have been described as preventable and serious mistakes. In short, they are things that should never happen -- and yet they do.

Two examples of never-events are mismatched blood transfusions or surgery on an incorrect body part. This second issue could mean amputating the left leg when the right leg needs to be amputated, for instance, or it could mean carrying out an operation on a hand when an operation was needed for the patient's foot. In some cases, it means doing the right operation but on the wrong patient.

These are issues that lead to serious injuries and fatalities. They're major concerns. Often, the ramifications for the patient are severe and unalterable.

Never-events also represent clear mistakes that should have been avoided. We know that doctors are human. They make mistakes. But there are things that should never happen.

Often, they only occur because of a clear error or a breach in protocol. Maybe there was a miscommunication with the staff. Maybe the doctor did not read the patient's files. Maybe the office mixed up the files of two different patients with the same name. There are plenty of ways that these never-events can happen, and there is often little that patients can do to prevent them.

If something like this happened to you, it can change your life forever. It can cost you a great deal financially and emotionally. Make sure you are well aware of the legal options that you have.

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