Pennsylvania residents may take for granted that no mistakes will be made when one undergoes a routine surgical procedure. Unfortunately, such procedures are where most medical errors actually take place.
The United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a former soldier who suffered severe brain damage due to a surgical error that occurred during a routine procedure performed at a military hospital. The soldier was admitted for appendicitis. However, when he stopped breathing while an appendectomy was being performed the staff inserted a breathing tube into the esophagus rather than the trachea.
Something as simple as a misplaced tube during surgery resulted in the death of a woman due to brain injury. It appears that an anesthesiologist did not note that the oxygen tube had moved during the surgical procedure and the woman was deprived of oxygen while the anesthesia was administered.
It has long been known that there are dangers anytime a patient goes under anesthesia. However, the dangers of brain injury to patients in our Pennsylvania hospitals may be even more pronounced that previously imagined.
The administration of anesthesia can result in all sorts of errors including brain trauma, and Pittsburgh hospitals must always take care during any surgery to insure brain injury or death does not occur. Many such errors were preventable if instructions and procedures were in place for emergency staff that could easily have been understood and followed.