The federal government has a so-called "never" list of medical mishaps that are just not supposed to happen under any circumstances, hence the name for the list. Included on there are things such as leaving a foreign object in the belly of someone who has undergone surgery or operating on the wrong arm or leg of a patient. Even though these events are never supposed to occur, they do happen with regularity year after year and, therefore, when it comes to medical misadventures you should "never say never."
An authority from Pennsylvania and experts from many other different states have expressed skepticism concerning the widespread use of electronic records for medical care. These records in turn have been blamed for a number of medical mistakes, injuries and even deaths due to incorrect information being input into patients' charts.
One registered pharmacist from Pennsylvania has reportedly heard of a number of mix-ups concerning medications that are given to certain children suffering from epilepsy. The children that suffer from a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) are apparently at risk for receiving the wrong medication because the prescribed drug is close in name to another prescribed drug.
Whether you call them emergency rooms or emergency departments, a recent study shows that if you seek medical attention when one is busy you might be risking more than money. According to the study, there was a direct link between busy ERs, mortality risk and higher financial costs.
Though keeping electronic medical records on file was designed to make hospitals more efficient and improve on the level of care, there can be a variety of problems with this sort of system as well. For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's system recently crashed for a number of hours. Fortunately, the hospital had an alternate database that had patient's files available to remedy the problem.
The federal government is planning to provide patients with the opportunity to report medical mistakes directly to them. Under the plan patients would be given a questionnaire that they can fill out and send back to the government whenever they are a victim of a medical mistake. The mistakes to be reported can be anything from a drug mistake, surgical error, infection or failure to properly diagnose or treat a condition. See http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/feds-want-patients-to-report-medical-provider-mistakes-654522.
The Institute of Medicine claims that the number of patients dying from medical mistakes in Pennsylvania and across the United States has almost doubled in recent years. Whether or not this is entirely true depends upon the accuracy of statistics generated by each individual state. There is no universal way of making the determination because each state records medical errors differently.
It's so extremely sad to learn of a child born with cerebral palsy that there's usually little to report to concerning such an incident that can be considered positive. Yet friends of families that have given birth to such a child will do everything in their power to be supportive.
Pennsylvania has spent a significant amount of time revamping its reporting requirements for hospital errors. However, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report (HHS), hospitals across the country are ignoring state requirements for reporting of errors where patients may have been harmed.