Thursday, 21 of June of 2018

Tag » mistakes

Failing Grade: Medical Error Deaths in Teaching Hospitals Spike in July

Shifting a decimal point from 3.5 milligrams to 35 milligrams on a medication can mean the difference between life and death. Given the protracted shifts medical students and doctors work at teaching hospitals, this type of medical error may be more common than at a non-teaching hospital.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney

July is the worst month for fatal medical errors in “teaching hospitals” with an average 10 percent spike in mistakes when compared to the entire calendar year, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine

What is a teaching hospital? Well, it a hospital that provides clinical education and training to future and current doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, in addition to delivering medical care to patients. For pop culture context, the TV show’s ER and Grey’s Anatomy feature teaching hospitals.

The Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia (VA) and East Carolina University School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina (NC) are both real-life teaching hospitals featuring medical students and doctors taking care of patients.

Is the fact that teaching hospitals feature new and inexperienced medical professionals the reason behind the spike?  No one can say for sure. The higher-than-average July medical error rate, also referred to as the “July effect,” has been questioned by other studies.

Nevertheless, the studies do point out how even the slightest error can have deadly consequences. For example, shifting a decimal point from 3.5 milligrams to 35 milligrams on a medication can mean the difference between life and death. Given the protracted shifts medical students and doctors work at teaching hospitals, this type of medical error may be more common than at a non-teaching hospital.

Another common cause of medical errors is when a shift-change occurs. This is important at both teaching and non-teaching hospitals. Critical information about your injury and/or medication needs may be overlooked or not mentioned to the new personnel. If you encounter a change in personnel at a hospital, don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to take notes about what was recommended by the first doctor, nurse, or other medical professional you spoke to.

To learn more about common medical mishaps, surgical mistakes, and doctor mistakes, check out these articles and free consumer reports:

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA


Disarray at the VA: Medical Mistakes Causing Major Problems for Veterans Hospitals

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney

Hundreds of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have had their “surgical complexity” ratings changed in response to numerous medical errors and doctor mistakes. Five hospitals had their ratings downgraded, which basically means the types of surgeries allowed at those facilities will be reduced because the doctors simply can’t handle the procedures.

“What types of mistakes have taken place at these VA hospitals?” you might ask. Well, a cancer unit at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center mishandled close to 100 cases involving radiation treatment and it is alleged that staff members altered records to cover mistakes, according to aboutlawsuits.com. The VA is also dealing with colonoscopy problems at VA centers in Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), and Tennessee (TN) where contaminated equipment exposed thousands of veterans to hepatitis, HIV and other blood borne diseases.

Here’s another example of medical negligence at a VA Hospital:

 It’s good to see VA officials taking action on this important safety issue, but more reforms need to be enacted. The doctors and surgeons at the five VA hospitals that received complexity downgrades should have their past performance records reviewed and potentially be required to go through a re-training course or some type of program on medical error prevention. Another common sense reform is requiring the use of “safe-surgery” checklists and even basic medical procedure checklists to help ensure all steps are taken and no blatant errors are made due to rushing through a procedure.

It is important we correct these errors. Why? Because every VA hospital should exemplify the highest standards of medical care. The brave men and women who serve in uniform, and their loved ones, deserve that kind of treatment.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.

PA


Safe Surgery Check List Could Help Reduce Surgical Mistakes and Medical Errors

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Surgeons could reduce patient complications, medical mistakes and loss of life by following a “safe-surgery checklist,” according to a study recently published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The “safe-surgery checklist” mandates that surgical teams stop at three critical points pre- and post-surgery to ask essential questions concerning the operation.  Questions might include: “Is there enough blood on hand in case of severe bleeding? Have antibiotics been administered? What are the anesthesiologist’s and nurse’s main concerns?”

The “safe-surgery checklist” has proven effective at the hospitals and medical centers that utilize it. The study shows that approximately one third of patient complications and deaths were reduced when surgeons followed the “safe-surgical checklist.” Despite the effectiveness of this checklist, only 20 percent of hospitals have adopted it.

In Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), tens of thousands of surgeries take place every year and it is estimated that one in every 5,000 patients will unfortunately have a surgical object left inside them (nationwide). This is a preventable medical mistake that the checklist helps address.  Maybe if more hospitals implemented such a checklist, the quality of patient care would increase significantly and the number of surgical mistakes would decrease. Surgical errors like this are considered “never events,” meaning that with the execution of proper procedures, they should never occur.

USA Today noted “that help can come from a checklist, much like one routinely used by pilots before every flight.” Just as pilots refer to a checklist to ensure the efficiency of a flight so to should surgeons to ensure the efficiency of a surgery. The checklist in both instances serves as a guide and is ultimately beneficial for everyone (doctors, patients, loved ones) involved.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA