by Morley Evans
There are good people everywhere. They exist even in bad systems. Good people may actually represent most of the people involved. (As hard as it may be to accept, some evil-doers may sometimes do good works too, confirming that everyone has some redeeming qualities. Of course no one is faultless.) People work to make things better. "Never events" is one example. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush, a person who, like Lyndon Baines Johnson, has few redeeming points in my opinion.) Evil-doers cannot rest easy, even in a corrupt system which they think they control. The clock is ticking and their time is always short. The aggrieved and their champions should never give up hope even as new evils constantly arise.
Having the wrong surgery performed is called a “Never Event” as a result of congressional Act passed in 2006. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush.  It directed that a list of Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) be recognized and classified as Serious Preventable Errors that should always be preventable by adoption and adherence to evidence based hospital procedures. The US Human Health Department, in collaboration with various highly respected medical organizations, began the congressionally mandated list with eight enumerated serious preventable errors that were to thereafter be known as “Never Events”. Wrong surgery was one of the eight.
 Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109-171, 109th Congress stating that the Never Event injury “could reasonably have been prevented through the application fo evidence-based guideline.”This is bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
The other day, I discussed doctors with a young woman. She is in her mid thirties, I would guess. She knew nothing about hysterectomy. "Do they still do that," she wondered? "I thought most girls had their tubes tied." Winston Churchill said the best argument against democracy is made by having a conversation with any voter for five minutes.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Never events are inexcusable actions in a health care setting, the "kind of mistake that should never happen". The initial list of 28 events was compiled by the National Quality Forum of the United States. They are defined as "adverse events that are serious, largely preventable, and of concern to both the public and health care providers for the purpose of public accountability."
Several states have enacted laws requiring the disclosure of never events at hospitals and various remunerative or punitive measures for such events. A recent Leapfrog Group Study finds that roughly half of the 1,285 hospitals that responded to their survey waive fees for never events, and that hospitals that do waive fees are much more likely to have perfect scores on the Leapfrog Safe Practices Score survey.
According to a 2012 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, there are as many as 1,500 instances of 'surgical souvenirs'—instances in which a surgical tool or other foreign object is left inside of a patient's body after surgery—every year in the United States. The same study suggests an estimated total number of surgical mistakes at just over 4,000 per year in the United States; however, these statistics are extrapolations from incomplete data rather than actual event counts.
List of never events
As defined by the National Quality Forum and commonly agreed upon by health care providers, the current list of 28 never events includes:
- Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or donor egg
- Unintended retention of a foreign body in a patient after surgery or other procedure
- Patient death or serious disability associated with patient elopement (disappearance)
- Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error (e.g., errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation or wrong route of administration)
- Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO/HLA-incompatible blood or blood products
- Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock or elective cardioversion while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Patient death or serious disability associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Surgery performed on the wrong body part
- Surgery performed on the wrong patient
- Wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient
- Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death in an ASA Class I patient
- Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
- Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care, in which the device is used or functions other than as intended
- Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Infant discharged to the wrong person
- Patient suicide, or attempted suicide resulting in serious disability, while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a health care facility
- Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Death or serious disability (kernicterus) associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia in neonates
- Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility
- Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy
- Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances
- Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility
- Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider
- Abduction of a patient of any age
- Sexual assault on a patient within or on the grounds of the healthcare facility
- Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of the healthcare facility
Recommended actions following a never event
The Leapfrog Group offers four actions as industry standards following a never event:
- apologize to the patient
- report the event
- perform a root cause analysis
- waive costs directly related to the event
^ Jump up to: a b Laura Landro (December 20, 2012), "Surgeons Make Thousands of Snafus", The Wall Street Journal (paper|format= requires |url= (help)): A2 |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
Jump up ^ "Half of US hospitals reporting to Leapfrog say they won't bill for a “never event”". The Leapfrog Group. September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
Jump up ^ "Serious Reportable Events (SREs): Transparency & Accountability are Critical to Reducing Medical Errors". National Quality Forum. October 1, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
Jump up ^ "Factsheet Never Events". The Leapfrog Group. March 27, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2010.