When you entrust your health to a licensed medical professional in Texas or elsewhere, you can expect to receive quality care and treatment. Stringent regulations and safety standards are in place to help keep you safe, especially if you have a surgical procedure, are taking a prescribed medication or are undergoing a specific type of recommended treatment for a particular health condition. You should never have to worry about medical negligence.
Sadly, however, many patients suffer severe, even life-threatening injuries each year because of “never events,” which is a term that refers to gross medical negligence resulting in illness or injury to a patient that was entirely preventable. A never event might occur because of a doctor’s negligence or a surgeon, nurse, a lab technician or other member of a medical team.
Actions taken or not taken can result in medical injury
It’s not your responsibility to know everything your medical team should or should not be doing in relation to your condition while you undergo medical treatment. Never events often include a failure to act on the part of a medical team member. Injuries also often result when a medical professional’s actions are incorrect or inappropriate in a particular set of circumstances.
For instance, if you report symptoms to your doctor for which the average physician would recommend a specific treatment, you could reasonably expect your doctor to do the same. If he or she fails to properly diagnose your condition or recommend treatment, your condition might worsen. On the other hand, if your doctor or surgeon takes an improper action, such as operating on the wrong body part, severe damages could result.
Reportable never events
Surgical errors are not the only type of never event that can cause you injury. Preventable injuries may also occur because of medication errors or negligence in the radiology department or management of your care.
While there is inherent risk associated with any type of medical procedure, you shouldn’t have to worry that a health care worker will provide substandard medical care that results in injury or illness. Many patient fatalities in Texas and throughout the country have a connection to never events.
Never hesitate to ask questions
If you don’t understand something your doctor, surgeon or a nurse has explained to you regarding treatment you’re about to receive, it’s always best to seek clarification before proceeding any further. If you believe you have suffered illness or injury because of medical negligence, it’s a good idea to request a meeting with a patient advocate to discuss the issue.