Report details Essex hospital ‘never events’

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, June 9th, 2016

In Essex, patients who must undergo medical procedures may want to know more about the eight ‘never events’ that were recorded at Colchester General Hospital for 2015/16. In a report published on May 31, news sources indicate that an undisclosed number of the events actually happened in 2014/15 but were later upgraded from a less serious classification during the following fiscal year.

This particular group of medical errors that, by definition, should never occur included amputation of the wrong body part and other wrong-site surgery, foreign objects left in patients’ bodies after operations, an interscalene block administered on the wrong side of the body, and a tube meant for placement in the respiratory tract placed in the gastrointestinal tract instead. A spokesman for the hospital says that the overall number of complaints, serious incidents, and never events has decreased in 2015/16 as compared to those recorded for the previous year.

The presentation of a report on this matter to the region’s clinical commissioning board is pending. In the report, sources indicate that the root causes of the eight never events have been attributed to poor communication, unclear clinical notes, surgical skin markers rubbing off, the failure to follow safety check and counting procedures, and the incorrect reading of results by the surgeon.

At least one health care research agency centered in the U.S. has described never events such as these as both devastating and preventable. Essex residents who have placed their trust in doctors and other health care professionals and who must now deal with the consequences of a medical mistake may find it beneficial to seek help from a solicitor who is well-versed in the complexities of medical malpractice claims.

Source: Metro, “Doctor amputates the wrong toe in hospital cock-up,” Nicole Morley, May 31, 2016

Source: PSNet, “Never Events,” last updated December 2014

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