On June 20, 2016, George Walker, then 75 years old, called the VA's American Lake Division and complained of shortness of breath and chest pain. Mr. Walker was directed to go to the American Lake Urgent Care. Mr. Walker went as instructed the following day. The staff at American Lake Urgent Care had him transported by ambulance to the VA's Seattle Division. He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, which is a hereditary narrowing of the aortic valve; he needed a replacement. The VA scheduled his surgery for July 5, 2016, and sent him home. On July 1, Mr. Walker died at home. His widow, Peggy Walker, sued.
Carla Miller has sued Vanderbilt University Medical Center and alleged the hospital operated on the wrong kidney during surgery. Ms. Miller claims that Vanderbilt doctors were supposed to implant a mesh tube from her left kidney to her bladder. However, physicians mistakenly implanted the tube in her right kidney. As a result of the error, Ms. Miller has claimed her urinary system was permanently damaged and she will now require dialysis for the rest of her life. Ms. Miller has asked for $5.5 million in compensatory damages and another $15 million in punitive damages.
A report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a pattern of blood labeling errors at St. Luke's in Houston during the past year. The report followed a yearlong investigation by both the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that had documented several lapses in patient care.
Ending up in the hospital can often be stressful and expensive, but it shouldn't be dangerous, as well. That's why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reducing its payments to 751 hospitals as a penalty for their poor patient safety statistics. Medicare will cut its 2018 reimbursement rates by one percent for the lowest-ranking quarter of hospitals based on a battery of patient safety measures-potentially a loss of millions of dollars, for some hospitals.
The National Practitioner Data Bank records 2017 as having the lowest number of payments made by physicians' insurers since it began collecting data in 1990. According to the NPDB, payments peaked in 2001 at 19,773 reports of medical malpractice payments, whereas 2017 only had 11,260 reports of medical malpractice payments across all healthcare providers, despite a dramatic increase in adverse action reports against healthcare providers. In the same time period between 2001 and 2017, adverse action reports have risen from 24,230 actions to 49,016. Are frivolous malpractice actions on the rise or is malpractice itself down?
Each year, 250,000 patients die from medical errors - more than motor and air crashes, suicides, falls, poisonings, and drownings combined - according to John Hopkins published research. Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, yet a study shows most doctors would not tell patients or accept responsibility for their mistakes.
According to a lawsuit Carter filed Thursday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Dr. Larry Glazerman mistakenly sliced through her small bowel when removing her cyst. Then he sewed her up without noticing the error.
A study found that families may be a source for improving hospital safety and avoiding mistakes, as parents often catch errors that doctors miss. The study involved two pediatric units at a hospital in Boston. Analysis of safety incidents found that approximately one in ten parents found mistakes that physicians did not.
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is considered one of the top hospitals in the nation. Researchers discovered about half of the surgeries performed at this institution have administered medications by error or with unintended side effects. These findings are even more likely to be found at other U.S. hospitals. In 2013-2014 researchers at MGH observed and discovered that 124 of the 227 procedures included at least one medication error or drug-related incident that harmed the patient. According to this study, the most frequent errors were due to mislabeling, incorrect dosages, and medications unnecessarily administered.
Coumadin, a blood thinner, can cause death if it is not properly administered and monitored. This drug must be carefully adjusted; if a patient is given too much, bleeding cannot be controlled. If enough is not given, clots can develop. According to government inspection reports from 2011 to 2014, more than 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after dosing errors of Coumadin were made. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Medicine estimated that nursing home residents experience near 34,000 fatal, life-threatening, or serious events related to the blood thinner annually.