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The shocking incidence of preventable deaths from medical errors

July 11, 2016, by Susan Justice, Editor Healthcare- Malpractice.com

Crisis in medicine
Crisis in medicine
Incomplete information
Incomplete information
Unwilling to report
Unwilling to report
Understanding mistakes:

First off, you should know that many types of Preventable Adverse Events often causing death in patients. The lower limit of adverse events leading to death from hospital care is 440,000! This means more may have occurred but not reported.

Errors of commission – When the wrong medical action is taken or the right medical action is taken yet performed improperly. For example, during the surgery to remove a gallbladder, the intestine is nicked, leading to a future infection causing death.

Error of omission – Obvious action was necessary to heal the patient, yet it was not performed at all. Errors of omission are difficult to detect, and at times can be the result of a patient not following given guidelines after discharge. Another example may be a necessary medication that was not prescribed.

Error of communication – Miscommunication from physician to physician, or between patient and physician. For example, a cardiologist not informing a patient who experienced syncope, or fainting, while running, not to run or explaining the risks associated with running.

Error of context – A physician may fail to take into account patient constraints that may impact the success of treatment after discharge.

Diagnostic errors – Diagnostic errors can result in delayed, wrong or no treatment at all, which often leads to the death of the patient.

These five types of errors are not detected by the GTT and some studies suggest a factor of 3 to account for adverse events not reflected in medical records, according to the study. The serious errors occurred both while in the care of the hospital and after discharge.

Serious predischarge from the hospital mistakes according to the study include:

Adverse drug events
Nerve or vessel injury or wrong operation
Deep venous thrombosis – a blood clot in a deep vein
Hospital acquired infection
Postoperative respiratory distress

Postdischarge events, after the patient leaves the hopsital include:

Wound infection
Deep venous thrombosis – a blood clot in a deep vein
Operative wound dehiscence – a surgical incision breaking open
Operative organ injury showing delayed malfunction that causes system damage and often death.

Physicians don’t report mistakes. Interestingly, research sources that found that patients reported 3 times as many preventable adverse events than were indicated in their medical records. So the medical team is lying almost 70% of the time. Studies  also found that more errors were identified by direct observation rather than by the inspection of medical records. A factual report shows on a national survey that found that physicians often refuse to report serious adverse events, with cardiologist being the highest of the non-reporting groups.

The Office of Inspector General reported that 86 percent of patient harm events were not reported by hospital staff as they either did not perceive the event as re-portable, or did not report an event that was commonly reported, in its 2012 report Hospital Incident Reporting Systems Do Not Capture Most Patient Harm.

Public awareness and safe care
It is time that the public wake up to the widespread harm of medical errors and force changes in the system that can give reasonable assurance of safe care. The U.S. Department of Health Services released a report showing that an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died and 1.3 million fewer patients were harmed in hospitals from 2010 to 2013 as a result of safer health care efforts.

If you believe any aspect of your care was incorrect, caused harm or worse, caused death of a family member, please tell us your story, become a member and pursue justice with us for your suffering.
Incomplete information
Incomplete information
Unwilling to report
Unwilling to report
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Receive new posts via email or RSS.

In the News:

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Read full story
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