Arizona residents may have heard that in July 2016, a surgeon at St. Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts removed a kidney from a patient in an apparent case of mistaken identity. The man who had his kidney taken out shared the same name as the patient who was supposed to have his kidney removed because of a tumor. The surgeon in that case did realize that a mistake was made as soon as it happened.
Arizona patients put their health into their providers' hands. Before a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, he or she must be informed about the potential risks of this procedure and whether there are any alternatives. However, even when patients do receive this information, some surgeries may carry too much risk.
Arizona residents who go to hospitals and other health care facilities for medical assistance may be understandably worried about whether they'll receive the correct treatments. Mistakes like anesthesia being administered on the wrong side of the body continue to occur even with the existence of zero-tolerance policies. While less serious than surgical mistakes, experts say that these anesthesia errors can still result in complications.
While surgeons and their patients would love for every operation to go perfectly, this is not always the case. When something does go during a procedure, surgeons often have a hard time reporting an error when it was a preventable mistake. Arizona patients might like to know more about how hospitals are addressing disclosure when adverse events happen.
The autopsy of a 36-year-old Arizona man who died unexpectedly in the arms of his wife discovered plastic bags, packets of tomato ketchup and paper towels in his stomach and bowels. The man, who was recovering from a traumatic brain injury, would not have been able to ingest these items himself, and a lawsuit filed against the assisted living facility concerned resulted in an $11 million jury verdict. While these types of medical negligence are not common, they do occur often enough to merit concern.
The delicate nature of neurosurgery requires that a professional in the field be well-prepared for lengthy and complex procedures. Patient care in an Arizona hospital also depends on consistency and competency after such procedures. While an effort to improve patient outcomes by reducing fatigue in those training to be doctors might seem sensible, the practice of neurosurgery may actually be less safe when residents' hours are limited.
A recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that tracking orthopedic surgical trainees using step-by-step checklists was more effective when paired with an error tracking system. While checklists of surgical procedure steps are effective, they do not measure the quality of trainee performance. Feedback on errors is an equally important part of training, according to one of the professors involved in the study.
Arizona residents who are thinking of undergoing a cosmetic procedure may be alarmed to learn that a botched breast augmentation surgery left a Florida woman with indefinite brain damage. The woman, who was 18 when the surgery was performed in 2013, subsequently spent two weeks in a coma, and her mother says that she is now only able to say a handful of words, cannot eat on her own or stand unassisted for more than a few seconds.
When a patient of an Arizona hospital returns home after a surgical procedure, a phone call saying a mistake was made can be frightening. A repeat surgery is often necessary when doctors mistakenly leave medical instruments inside the body of a patient. To combat the problem, which doctors refer to as retained instruments, some hospitals are using a new type of medical sponge. It helps them to count the sponges to be sure that none are left behind.
Many Arizona residents protect their personal information by installing software on their computers to scan files and directories for viruses and malware. The sophisticated electronic equipment used by hospitals and clinics often have similar anti-virus programs installed, and they generally operate much in the same way. Such software is often programmed to run scans automatically at times that the equipment it protects is unlikely to be in use, but this was not what happened in February 2016 at a major American hospital.