A study recently published by Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University researchers in the British Medical Journal highlights how medical errors can be reduced as much as 38 percent. The research shows that doctors and their patients need only to improve their communication to effectuate this change.
A 22-year-old mother from Ohio checked herself into Phoenix's Serenity Care Center, a state-licensed drug detox center on Oct. 7 in hopes of getting help for her addiction to opioids. Staff members denied her continued requests to be transferred to a local hospital to be evaluated for her declining health. Within days, she was dead. Her story has left many wondering if her death could have been avoided.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) defines any infection that a patient contracts while receiving medical attention for a completely different condition as a health care-associated infection (HAI). The ODPHP estimates that as many as one in every 25 individuals who receive inpatient medical treatment annually end up with an HAI. These result in tens of thousands of patient deaths and billions of dollars in costs.
Many individuals tend to think of hospitals as safe places where patients get nursed back to health. Most wouldn't imagine that they'd experience declined health or even die at their nurses' and doctors' hands. Yet, hundreds, if not thousands, of patients are either injured or develop a secondary illness in hospitals each year in the United States though.
Each year, many Americans either are misdiagnosed or receive a delayed diagnosis, have a doctor poorly perform a procedure on them or otherwise experience complications associated with a medical treatment or procedure.
When aspiring physicians first enter medical school, they're required to take what's known at the Hippocratic Oath. By taking it, they're understood to agree to uphold certain ethical standards when it comes to taking care of patients that they may come into contact with. If doctors are bound by this, then you may wonder why so many doctors seem either unable or unwilling to admit when they've made a mistake.
When a patient checks into a hospital, they do so in hopes of being made to feel better, not worse. In an era in which hospitals have become money making operations instead of remaining focused on patient care, it's not unheard of for patients to receive substandard care.
Let's face it. Medical conditions are not always easily diagnosed, especially if you're believed to be suffering from a rare illness, are presenting with complex symptoms or your disease has already reached an advanced stage. That's why many medical experts note that any patient who's told their best option involves surgery should first get a second opinion.
Informed consent involves a patient being given a description of a procedure and why it's being recommended. It involves a patient being advised of the known benefits of having a certain procedure performed versus not doing anything at all.
A jury decided, during the final week in October, that Tucson's Banner-University Medical Center, formerly known as the University of Arizona Health Network, should be held liable for a patient's permanent injuries. A Pima County jury decided that one of the medical residents at the hospital administered a life-altering amount of a dangerous drug. As a result, they awarded the 46-year-old brain dead mom $12 million in damages.