A study suggests that shorter shifts for doctors and other medical professionals may lead to more medical mistakes. Medical errors often occur during work shift changes because those just coming to work may not be as familiar with what has been going on regarding treatment of a patient.
A University of Pennsylvania study has produced an alarming statistic. Shortage of critical care nurses has been blamed in a large number of patient deaths. The researchers concluded that had Pennsylvania put into place a minimum nurse to patient ratio, more than 250 surgical deaths could have been prevented in 2010 alone.
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.
If anyone from Pittsburgh has recently gone to the doctor's office, they may have noticed that more and more their cases are being handled by a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP). The reason why these individuals are playing such a significant role is because there is a shortage of physicians that can see patients on a day-to-day basis.