A Medical Mistake Leads to Tragic Death

In May 2016, researchers at Johns Hopkins University provoked a storm of controversy with an article in the BMJ entitled “Error-the third doctor leading cause of death in the US”. suggested that more than 250,000 people die each year because of medical error.

suspect that underestimates the true incidence of mortality driven mistake, but even this number aggravated a large number of health professionals. Many doctors questioned the research and some went so far as to ask the BMJ to remove the article. What often gets lost in the furor and point-counterpoint is the human tragedy that results from a medical error. Here is just a story:

P My wife died because of a medical error. A serious kidney problem led to a biopsy and a prescription for steroids.

While in the hospital another doctor noticed a possible blood clot in his arm and started on a regimen of blood thinners without telling us. As a result, your biopsy bled badly. Although it was operated to stop the leak, he deteriorated.

A hospital-acquired infection in his leg could not be cured. His intestines were shocked and 13 weeks after his death. I do not understand why the second doctor did not realize that she had a biopsy that would make an appropriate anticoagulant.

A. Sorry much to learn from this tragic outcome. Patients or family members should always be informed of hospital treatments and double check for errors. They have said about the anticoagulant and the surgeon who performed the biopsy should have been consulted before administration of these drugs.

hospital-acquired infections

The CDC has changed the name of nosocomial infections (infections acquired in the hospital). It has been sanitized “health-associated infections.” We can not explain the reason for this modification except that seems to downplay the role of the hospital in the outbreak of a life-threatening infection, such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Whatever you call it, these infections are responsible for 75,000 deaths each year. According to the CDC “On any given day, about one in every 25 hospital patients has been related to healthcare at least one infection.”

What can patients do?

As difficult as this is to accept, it is likely that at least one medication error will occur every day someone is hospitalized. That’s the conclusion of the prestigious Institute of Medicine . What this means is that you should anticipate that there will be mistakes every day you or a friend or loved one is hospitalized. Some may be relatively minor, such as the wrong food on the dinner tray type. A diabetic, for example, probably should not get a high-carbohydrate meal with lots of sugar. Others, however, could be life-threatening, as the tragic story of the person who contacted us at the top of this article.

The errors must be caught before they do irreparable damage. It is crucial for an inpatient to have someone with her at all times. If the patient can not speak, ask questions, and verify virtually everything is done; the defender must step in and take charge. the patient’s life may depend on monitoring the defender.

Our book screwups Best Doctors do and how to prevent , provides checklists to help patients and their advocates are more vigilant.

Will Kill You medical errors or a loved one?

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A medical error is not inevitable if we all work together to avoid such errors harm patients and their families should be included in. all aspects of decision-making. every drug has to be double checked by the nurse, pharmacist, physician and patient.

Best screwups doctors make and how to avoid them

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