Operating on the wrong patient. Removing the wrong limb. Getting the wrong medication. Mismatched blood transfusion. Leaving a sponge or medical instrument inside a patient. Bed sores. They are called ‘never events' because they are preventable and should never happen in hospitals. But they do happen sometimes and end up killing between 44,000 and 98,000 people a year, according to the Institute of Medicine. And now the federal government and the state's largest insurer have stopped paying hospitals for never events, which will likely mean higher insurance premiums for consumers. No one knows how many never events or related deaths occur in New Hampshire.
Nancy West, Union Leader, 10-12-08