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Never Event Claims

What is a Never Event?

The Department of Health detail a list of never events for patients treated in NHS care, examples of which as follows:

Wrong Site Surgery

This means surgery performed on the wrong patient or wrong site (for example wrong hip, wrong organ). 

What Checks You Should Expect in the Hospital Prior to Surgery

On admission, the nurse should check why you have been admitted. Immediately prior to surgery, the site of your planned surgery may be marked with a pen to indicate correct site.

Immediately before advancing to the operating theatre, you should be asked what operation you are having and which side, i.e. if you are having a right hip replacement you should be asked which hip you expect to be replaced.

Retention of a Foreign Object Post-Surgery

This often means a swab or guide wire which is inadvertently missed once closure of wound site occurs. Checks are in place in every theatre and a swab count should be performed at the end of the surgery prior to closure, where every swab used is counted to ensure all have been collected. Retained swabs can lead to infection

Chest or Neck Entrapment in Bed Rails

Bed rails, also known as cot sides, are often used to reduce falls, but badly fitting, or badly fitted, bed rails have caused severe injuries including death when a person’s chest or neck or limbs become trapped. Bed rails should only be used following a risk assessment and with careful management, as they may not be appropriate in the circumstances.

Misplaced Nasogastric or Orogastric Tube

Feeding tubes can be inserted into a lung or bronchus instead of the stomach which has caused catastrophic injuries and death. There are checks that should be carried out once the tube has been inserted to ensure that it is in the correct place before a feed or medication is administered. pH should be the first test followed by an X-ray to confirm if necessary.

Duty of Candour

The Duty of Candour (introduced from 1 April 2013) is a contractual requirement to ensure the Being Open process is followed when a patient safety incident results in moderate harm, severe harm or death. Therefore, any incident which meets this criteria should be discussed with you.

How Can We Help You?

When medical treatment goes wrong, only lawyers with expert legal knowledge will do. Here at Joseph James Law we recognise the effect that a never event can have. We understand that a serious, and in some cases fatal, injury can be a severe financial, physical and psychological burden on the whole family. We understand the importance of compensation and can help you obtain a settlement that will help with any financial and future care needs that you may have.

For a free and confidential assessment of your potential claim by our Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors please contact us on Freephone 0800 999 1234.

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