“Doctor in Pompton Lakes performing surgery without training, AG complaint alleges”
~ Tuesday, May 8, 2012 northjerseynews.com
“Windsor hospital CEO blames human error for unnecessary surgery”
~ Friday, May 4th, 2012 Toronto Star
“Ops oops! Hospitals own up to four errors”
~ Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 Leicester Mercury
Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients. What happens to other people is less clear because most hospital errors go unreported and hospitals report on only a fraction of things that can go wrong.
“There is an epidemic of health-care harm.” says Rosemary Gibson, a patient-safety advocate and author. “More than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm in this decade. That’s like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It’s a man-made disaster,” she says.
Following are some of the top surgical mistakes made in hospitals today:
- Hospitals operating or treating the wrong patient: If your identity gets mixed up with someone else’s, you can get the wrong surgery . This can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering and longer hospital stays.
- Surgical souvenirs: Surgeons and staff miscounting or failing to count equipment during your procedure and leaving behind a surgical tool or other objects. The New England Journal of Medicine found that about 1500 Americans have objects left inside of them following surgery every year.
- Air bubbles in the blood: If you have a chest tube removed incorrectly and your chest isn’t sealed, air bubbles can enter the wound and cut off blood supply to your lungs, heart, kidneys and brain ~ a life threatening event.
- Doctors operating on the wrong body part: This can happen to anyone. Surgeons can misread your chart, surgical drapings can cover marks made on your body to indicate where the surgery is to be performed and various other types of mistakes can lead to the wrong procedure being performed.
- Look alike medical tubing: Unfortunately, many varieties of medical tubing are interchangeable and easily connectable. This means that it is very simple to misconnect a feeding tube to an intravenous line, or IV fluids to an oxygen tube. With nurses working overtime or covering too many patients at once it is all to easy to connect a tube improperly, leading to an often fatal outcome to the patient. There have been cases reported where a spinal anesthetic used for pain relief during child birth was mistakenly put into a vein, killing the patient and a healthy young pregnant woman and her unborn daughter died after a feeding tube was mistakenly connected to an intravenous line, sending the liquid food directly into her veins.
- Unclean or unsanitary procedures: Hospital acquired infections are alarmingly common and sadly they are often deadly. In the US more than 2 million people are affected by hospital acquired infections each year and a whopping 100,000 people die as a result.
- Waking up during surgery: If you receive an under-dose of anesthesia, your brain may be "awake" even if you can't move your muscles. Unable to move or speak, you may still feel the surgery taking place resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering.