Seattle Children's Hospital shut down all fourteen of its operating rooms earlier this year after Aspergillus mold spores infected six children in its operating rooms, leaving one dead. The hospital re-opened its operating rooms in July, telling the public it was confident the operating rooms were sterile and that the risk to patients was incredibly low. Last week, however, the hospital was once again forced to shut down three of its operating rooms and two procedural areas following new detections of Aspergillus and as the hospital investigates the possibility of two new infections.
A local newspaper reviewed several public records and lawsuits and found that around half of the psych hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have had at least one major safety incident since 2011. A major safety incident was defined as a suicide or significant attempt, a report of unwanted sexual contact, or a serious physical attack.
Daniel Krieg, 56, died on July 9, 2016. His nephew has filed a lawsuit against UPMC Montefiore alleging "professional negligence" by the hospital. Mr. Krieg died from multi-organ failure due to sepsis approximately one year after undergoing a kidney transplant at UPMC Montefiore.
It is clear that hospitals are dangerous places. Sixteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences published a study, "To Err is Human," and concluded that at least 44,000 patients were killed (and many more injured) in hospitals each year because of medical errors. This was a shocking number then. But the numbers got worse.
A new study conducted by NASA toxicologist John T. James has estimated that between 210,000 and 440,000 deaths are caused each year by medical errors. This number is a dramatic rise from previous estimate in 1999 that reported up to 98,000 people died from hospital mistakes.