Archive for the ‘Surgical Errors’ Category

Fires in the Operating Room? Should You be Concerned?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Recently, the media reported that the Chief of Surgery at New York City’s Lincoln Hospital accidently set a patient on fire during surgery. The patient allegedly suffered injuries as a result of the fire. The
report has some wondering how common fires may be in the operating room and whether patients are at risk.

A May 6, 2012 New York Post article reports that approximately 500 – 600 surgical fires occur
across the United States each year. On average, that is more than one fire every single day. Several patients have died as a result of these fires and dozens have reportedly suffered severe burns or gross disfigurements. The frequency of more minor injuries is unknown.

Have you, or a loved one, ever suffered from a surgical fire? What happened? Please leave a comment and share your story with others.

Attention Outpatient Surgery Patients

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Outpatient surgeries are becoming more common in Pennsylvania and around the country. While there are many potential advantages to outpatient surgeries, there are also some concerns. One of those concerns
was highlighted in a recent University of Michigan study.

The study found that while hospital patients were often warned about the dangers of venous thromboembolisms, people treated at outpatient facilities did not receive warnings as often. Previous studies have found that fewer than 50% of outpatient facilities have guidelines for venous thromboembolism prevention and that not all of the facilities that do have guidelines adhere to them.

Have you had outpatient surgery in Pennsylvania? Has your risk of having a venous thromboembolism been assessed? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Has Your Surgeon Been Drinking?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

A recently completed study found that alcoholism among surgeons may be more common than many people thought. The survey requested answers from 25,000 surgeons. While only 7,197 surgeons answered the survey, 1,112 of the surgeons met the criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse.

From the data collected, researchers found that about 14% of male surgeons and about 26% of female surgeons abuse alcohol or are dependent on alcohol.

The study published in the February 2012 issue of the Archives of Surgery found this to be a significant problem. Yet, researchers also point out that the study did not look at whether alcohol use among surgeons resulted in more medical errors. Researchers in this study have stated that they do not believe that alcohol abuse is a significant risk to patients. However, a previous study published in the April
2011 issue of the Archives of Surgery found that more medical errors were associated with surgeries done the day after a surgeon was drinking.

Given the statistics would you be concerned about your surgeon and potential medical errors caused by alcohol abuse? Have you been hurt by a negligent surgeon? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Is Your Anesthesiologist Ready to Treat You?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

A recent study published in the Anesthesia & Analgesia journal found that 84% of anesthesiologists who participated in the study had been involved in a fatal or serious surgical incident. Some, but not all, of the fatal or serious incidents were the result of medical mistakes. However, problems that came up after the fatal or serious incident could be medical malpractice.

Specifically, researchers found that these events have significant impacts on anesthesiologists who were not typically given formal debriefings or time off to recover from the event. Almost 90% of the doctors studied said it took a long time to recover from the event and only 7% were given any time off
from work. The rest continued to care for patients in the aftermath of the event. The study concluded that a doctor’s ability to care for his or her patients may be affected in the aftermath of a fatal or serious event.

As a patient does this concern you? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Yet Another Argument in Favor of Patient Safety Checklists

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A speaker representing the Oncology Nursing Society in Pittsburgh recently told an audience at the annual conference of the Medical Group Management Association that The Johns Hopkins Hospital saves $2 million a year through the use of a five item checklist for medical staff.

While checklists may seem so simple that they might not work, checklists remain important.  Checklists can make physicians more efficient and help save medical practices time and money. Of course, checklists may also lead to safer medical outcomes for patients as fewer preventable medical mistakes may be made.