Medical errors kill more than a quarter million people every year in the US

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Bushmills, Jun 23, 2012.

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  1. These stats put a different perspective on Afghanistan........................................................................

    10 shocking medical mistakes - CNN.com

    When you're a patient, you trust you're in good hands, but even the best doctor or nurse can make a mistake on you or someone you love.

    "Mistakes are happening every day in every hospital in the country that we're just not catching," says Dr. Albert Wu, an internist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    Medical errors kill more than a quarter million people every year in the United States and injure millions. Add them all up and "you have probably the third leading cause of death" in the country, says Dr. Peter Pronovost, an anesthesiologist and critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    The harm is often avoidable, and there are strategies you can use to help doctors and nurses get things right.


    Surgeons make 'body-part mix-ups'
    Here's a list of 10 shocking medical mistakes and ways to not become a victim:


    1. Mistake: Treating the wrong patient
    • Cause: Hospital staff fails to verify a patient's identity.
    • Consequences: Patients with similar names are confused.
    • Prevention: Before every procedure in the hospital, make sure the staff checks your entire name, date of birth and barcode on your wrist band.
    • Example case: Kerry Higuera

    2. Mistake: Surgical souvenirs
    • Cause: Surgical staff miscounts (or fails to count) equipment used inside a patient during an operation.
    • Consequences: Tools get left inside the body.
    • Prevention: If you have unexpected pain, fever or swelling after surgery, ask if you might have a surgical instrument inside you.
    • Example case: Nelson Bailey




    3. Mistake: Lost patients
    • Cause: Patients with dementia are sometimes prone to wandering.
    • Consequences: Patients may become trapped while wandering and die from hypothermia or dehydration.
    • Prevention: If your loved one sometimes wanders, consider a GPS tracking bracelet.
    • Example case: Mary Cole




    4. Mistake: Fake doctors
    • Cause: Con artists pretend to be doctors.
    • Consequences: Medical treatments backfire. Instead of getting better, patients get sicker.
    • Prevention: Confirm online that your physician is licensed.
    • Example case: Sarafina Gerling




    5. Mistake: The ER waiting game
    • Cause: Emergency rooms get backed up when overcrowded hospitals don't have enough beds.
    • Consequences: Patients get sicker while waiting for care.
    • Prevention: Doctors listen to other doctors, so on your way to the hospital call your physician and ask them to call the emergency room.
    • Example case: Malyia Jeffers




    6. Mistake: Air bubbles in blood
    • Cause: The hole in a patient's chest isn't sealed airtight after a chest tube is removed.
    • Consequences: Air bubbles get sucked into the wound and cut off blood supply to the patient's lungs, heart, kidneys and brain. Left uncorrected the patient dies.
    • Prevention: If you have a central line tube in you, ask how you should be positioned when the line comes out.
    • Example case: Blake Fought



    7. Mistake: Operating on the wrong body part
    • Cause: A patient's chart is incorrect, or a surgeon misreads it, or surgical draping obscures marks that denote the correct side of the operation.
    • Consequences: The surgeon cuts into the wrong side of a patient's body.
    • Prevention: Just before surgery, make sure you reaffirm with the nurse and the surgeon the correct body part and side of your operation.
    • Example case: Jesse Matlock



    8. Mistake: Infection infestation
    • Cause: Doctors and nurses don't wash their hands.
    • Consequences: Patients can die from infections spread by hospital workers.
    • Prevention: It may be uncomfortable to ask, but make sure doctors and nurses wash their hands before they touch you, even if they're wearing gloves.
    • Example case: Josh Nahum



    9. Mistake: Lookalike tubes
    • Cause: A chest tube and a feeding tube can look a lot alike.
    • Consequences: Medicine meant for the stomach goes into the chest.
    • Prevention: When you have tubes in you, ask the staff to trace every tube back to the point of origin so the right medicine goes to the right place.
    • Example case: Alicia Coleman




    10. Mistake: Waking up during surgery
    • Cause: An under-dose of anesthesia.
    • Consequences: The brain stays awake while the muscles stay frozen. Most patients aren't in any pain but some feel every poke, prod and cut.
    • Prevention: When you schedule surgery, ask your surgeon if you need to be put asleep or if a local anesthetic might work just as well.
    • Example case: Erin Cook
     
  2. Bloody hell. Imagine going into hospital for a vasectomy and waking up having had breast implants fitted.
     
  3. A surgical safety checklist was initiated as part of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge. At the beginning there was an assumption that medical facilities in the poorer countries would be the main benefactors and this would be mostly due to skill/expereince transference from facilitities in the richer companies.

    When all facilities started to see better patient outcomes and survival rates improve.....!

    Atul Gawande in the Checklist Manifesto gives a good run down for the non medic type
    Atul Gawande's 'Checklist' For Surgery Success : NPR

    otherwise http://alexander-johann.de/drupal/sites/default/files/downloads/FM_NEJMsa0810119.pdf
     
  4. What, with your very own set of tits to play with!!

    Cheers
    Gadge
     
  5. One incident which must be up there with the worst of the horror stories is the fellow in Wales about ten years ago who had his remaining good kidney irreversibly removed in error, leaving leaving him with one non-functioning kidney. He died a needless death not long afterwards.


    Edited as I've found a link: Wrong kidney removed
     
  6. If they're the cause of so many deaths I'd be surprised. Then it's America so I'll happily pay a bit more for the NHS.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. And since you haven't had the vasectomy, you're able to do something about it!

    If it's been sent from my HTC Sensation using Tapatalk then I'm probably pissed.
     
  8. I believe that this may already have happened to some Arrsers.
     
  9. Or worse still, going in for "circumcision" and being "castrated"
     
  10. Mistakes happen, errare humanum est...

    I've seen a few.

    The problem is not the making of errors, it is the consequences.
     
  11. fu2

    fu2 LE

    Shit happens.
     
  12. Population of US 313,778,000

    How many years to kill them all off?.
     
  13. I used the search function, but to be honest I haven't got all fucking day to read through myriad threads to find one that is exactly relevant, so I am posting this in here and sod it.

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-surgeon-ideas-human-transplants.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=splt-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

    My point is that it is all very well and good for those that need a new body - and bloody good luck to them.

    But what is really needed is a procedure for transplanting brains, so that some (actually many, if the lunatic fringe of arrse is anything to go by and is in any way indicative of the need in the general population) people can get a more realistic view of the world we live in. I refer in particular to Blonde Bint / Apache Wibbler (etc); Earth, Squeaky taxi and all the rest, including lunatic politicians such as Harriet Harperson.

    Not just limited to arrse, who would you like to be given a new brain (or an entire new head if they are that dog ugly), with a reprogrammed reality?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  14. I'd transplant my head onto Myleene Klass's body.

    Well, a specific part of her body anyway.
     
  15. Well worth the thread revival Dr.Frankenstein.