Holy crap… that’s about all I can say about that. This article is amazing. You would think that wrong site/wrong person surgery could be prevented (and it can), but it still happens. A lot.
All sorts of problems still happen with regularity. Surgery based on test results given to the wrong person. Flipped x-rays (really? even in the digital age where all x-rays are on a computer?). Marking the wrong side of the body or the wrong vertebra.
Several years ago, the National Quality Forum coined the term “never events” to describe medical errors that are almost entirely preventable. These include:
- wrong site/wrong patient surgeries,
- medication errors,
- wrong procedures,
- retained objects after surgery (clamps, sponges, etc),
- pressure ulcers or bedsores,
- injury due to incompatible blood or blood products,
- death or serious injury due to hypoglycemia
The bottom line is that medical errors – even dumb ones – keep happening at a higher rate than they should. Even the staunch tort-reformers would have difficulty arguing that someone who is injured or the family of someone who dies from wrong site surgery or another one of these “never events” doesn’t deserve fair and full compensation. That’s where we come in.
(Howard Zimmerle is a medical malpractice and nursing home negligence lawyer practicing in Illinois and Iowa. He can be reached at hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com or 309-794-1660).
I spend a lot of time on this blog and elsewhere lamenting failures in medicine. Of course I do. My job is to hold the medical field accountable and fight for the safety of patients. I want the system to work, and I love it when it does.
Here’s an example of the medical system working.
Kevin Neff (a family member of mine) lost his voice years ago. He saw doctor after doctor, including the Mayo Clinic, and no one could help. Finally, he saw a doctor in Cleveland, and within an hour, without surgery, he had his voice back.
Here’s a full article on this.
It’s a neat story, and is uplifting even if it is off-topic.
(Howard Zimmerle is a lawyer in the Quad Cities, with offices in Rock Island and Davenport. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com)
One of the key jobs of any attorney who sues a nursing home for abuse, neglect, bad patient care, etc, is to establish the proper standard of care. All good nursing home malpractice attorneys know to look for the nursing home’s own procedures, as well as the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and the federal OBRA regulations. Yet some forget that the State of Illinois has many specific regulations in the Administrative Code – Title 77, Chapter I, Part 300. I’d recommend taking a look at that before filing a nursing home case and discussing some of the relevant regulations with your experts.
(Howard Zimmerle is an attorney in Rock Island Illinois, who practices in the entire Quad Cities and surrounding area. He often handles cases against nursing homes and long term care facilities. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com).