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Table 2 Five rules of causation for root cause contribution factor

From: How to perform a root cause analysis for workup and future prevention of medical errors: a review

Five Rules of Causation  
1. Clearly show the cause and effect relationship.  
2. Use specific and accurate descriptors for what occurred, rather than negative and vague words.  
3. Human errors must have a preceding cause.  
4. Violations of procedure are not root causes, but must have a preceding cause.  
5. Failure to act is only causal when there is a pre-existing duty to act.