Although some forms of medical malpractice are highly publicized, patients are at risk of many different kinds of medical errors that may not be quite as well known. In some cases, mistakes take the form of simple failures to follow proper procedures, but medical staff may also simply be unwilling or improperly trained to do things the right way. With complicated ailments, such as rare diseases or head trauma, a diagnosing doctor or nurse might even lack the skill to assess the situation correctly and thus inadvertently deny the patient an essential treatment.
Hospital patients in Arizona may be surprised to learn that preventable medical errors are the third highest cause of death in the U.S. according to the "Journal of Patient Safety." Examining several recent studies, the article found that between 200,000 and 400,000 people die each year as a result of these errors.
Arizona residents undergoing medical procedures may be alarmed to learn how careless some surgeons or surgical staff can be, especially when they accidentally leave a piece of surgical equipment inside a patient. In fact, a California hospital has been fined approximately $86,000 for such carelessness.
Arizona patients facing the possibility of surgery may worry about issues such as pain, recovery time and safety as they prepare for their procedures. While safety issues have been addressed consistently over time, there is still room for further optimizing safety practices in the operating room. An error has the potential to create long-term problems or even result in the death of a patient, which makes it important for all involved in surgical activity to be striving for better results. An Oxford University study has analyzed certain safety systems to identify which provide the best outcomes.
Hospitals in Arizona and around the country might avoid mistakes by focusing just as much on non-technical safety as on surgeons' skills. According to a study originally presented at the American Medical Research Symposium in 2014 and published in the "Journal of American College of Surgeons," skills such as teamwork and communication are important in creating an overall safety culture within a hospital that reduces the likelihood of errors.
Surgery can range from short diagnostic procedures to lengthy spinal fusions in Arizona hospitals, and even the simplest of these procedures involve risks. One of the most surprising risks may be that of medication errors. A recent study was conducted in a Boston hospital known for being a leader in patient safety. The study covered drug errors in surgeries held over a seven-month period during 2013 and 2014, and the results were surprising given the hospital's reputation.
A study was recently completed by The Doctors Company, and researchers from the medical malpractice insurer found that a number of claims for orthopedic surgery medical malpractice concerned improper patient management. To help reduce the number of claims for these issues, guidelines were drawn up, and they focus on ensuring that patients are aware of potential complications and that medical professionals stay alert for problems.
When a person in Arizona is preparing to have a surgical procedure, it can be a harrowing time. Whether it is a small or large issue that must be dealt with, there is an inherent trust placed in the medical professionals performing the surgery. Even if it goes as planned, there is still a chance for complications to occur. One such issue can be a surgical site infection.
Residents in Arizona might be interested in learning more about the new non-technical skills that surgeons have been advised to adopt. The new handbook authored by researchers associated with the University of Aberdeen underscores the importance of situational awareness, communication in the operating room and effective decision making. According to the authors, these non-technical skills may be critical for savings patients' lives. Poor teamwork, mental errors and other non-technical factors often contribute to the alarming rate of adverse effects realized at U.S. medical facilities.
According to a recent study headed by a doctor at the University of Toronto, surgeon fatigue may not lead to increased errors during elective surgeries. If a patient had an elective surgery on a day where the surgeon had previously performed a procedure between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m., there was a 22.2 percent chance of an error. There was a 22.4 percent of an error if the surgeon had sufficient sleep the night before.