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Medical Malpractice: "Never Events" Continue To Happen

Back in 2015, Health Quality Ontario established a list of events that should never be allowed to happen during medical treatment by professionals. In drafting that never event list, the authors endeavoured to prevent incidents that could cause severe and unnecessary harm to hospital patients. Physicians, nurses, other health care workers and policymakers along with patients and their family members were involved in compiling the list, and they were all hoping to eliminate incidents that would lead to medical malpractice claims.

 The top five never events on the list include surgical procedures involving the wrong patient, wrong body part or wrong procedure. Also, giving the wrong biological implant, tissue or blood product to a patient must be avoided, and so must the unintentional leaving behind of a foreign object in a patient during a procedure. Along with these are events that cause harm or death due to the use of equipment or instruments that were not adequately sterilized. The fifth never event on the list involves death or harm caused by administering medication to a patient known to have an allergy to it.

 Pursuing a successful claim of negligence will require proof that the health care provider owed the patient a duty of care and that the duty was breached. The plaintiff will also be required to prove that substandard care caused reasonably foreseeable injuries. All these factors must be established to make a viable claim against a health care facility or physician.

 Any victim of negligent care by a physician or medical facility in Ontario might have questions about his or her legal options to pursue damage recovery. Answers can be obtained from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. After assessing the circumstances, the lawyer can suggest the most suitable steps, which might include filing a negligence claim in a civil court or launching a complaint with the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons.


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