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(ABC News)   Going into hospital soon? New survey warns you to expect one medical error every day in your treatment. Have fun   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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4051 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jul 2006 at 6:25 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

113 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-07-20 06:27:37 PM  

My colostomy bag is full and my IV is empty.


There you go!
2006-07-20 06:29:05 PM  

OK, that made me laugh. It's all about teh imagery.
2006-07-20 06:29:13 PM  
I think I just threw up a little... nope make that a lot.

2006-07-20 06:29:16 PM  
Nicely done,

You owe me a new keyboard...and monitor
2006-07-20 06:29:27 PM  
i think i've seen this article every year for the last decade... errors happen and the news is sure to be all over them
2006-07-20 06:30:59 PM  
This happens to me all the time. Somehow, the comment "Allergic to Latex" written all over my chart just doesn't get the message across to nurses, doctors, etc. Is it so hard just to wash your damn hands?

I've considered having the phrase tattooed on my forehead. It sure would make me popular in bars.
2006-07-20 06:31:43 PM  
From TFA - But a preventable drug error can add more than $5,800 to the hospital bill of a single patient

Follow the money

\can't find my tinfoil hat
2006-07-20 06:31:53 PM  
lamb0176 Are you sure you saw that article in '96? Or did you submit this reply from a hospital.
2006-07-20 06:32:44 PM  
meepozoid: just use a Sharpie instead of a tattoo. It'll come off after time+scrubbing.
2006-07-20 06:33:00 PM  
Yes, yet not everyone of these people sues the hospital. In fact, almost NONE of them (percentage-wise) sues the hospital. Wow. Litigious culture, indeed! And then when they do sue, even though the hospitals even acknowledge the mistakes, plaintiffs win about 33% of the time.

That said:

2006-07-20 06:33:02 PM  

Been reading Catch-22, have you?
2006-07-20 06:33:39 PM  
tell me about it. The last time i went in for routine surgery on an ingrown toenail, the doctor made a mistake and i came out with a larger, thicker, fuller penis. I hate it when that happens.
2006-07-20 06:33:59 PM  
Is this an everyone panic momnent?
2006-07-20 06:34:04 PM  
pfcspengler: I think in Catch-22 it was a urine jar.
2006-07-20 06:34:07 PM  
meepozoid ... I share your allergy. The last time I was in the hospital, I had a friend bring me a big piece of poster board and a big thick sharpie. I wrote "ALLERGIC TO LATEX!!" with an arrow pointed at me, and tacked it to the wall above my bed.

They didn't think it was funny, but after two epinephrine shots because someone 'forgot'.. well... I wasn't very amused, either.
2006-07-20 06:34:29 PM  
I dunno what's worse, mistakes or the fact that were I live people have died (recently) waiting to be seen by a doctor. Last time I had to go I told them to get bent and that'll be quicker to go to a walk-in clinic or get an appointment with my doctor
/eat shiat RIH (if you live where i live, it'll make sense)
//and you to IHA (see above)
2006-07-20 06:34:35 PM  
shiat happens. As long as everything (in you) works, then you're fine.

At least... if the hospital leave a pair of scissors in me, I should be able to get it out of me for free (plus perhaps work compensation).
2006-07-20 06:34:54 PM  
rubbing alcohol will remove Sharpie ink from skin.
2006-07-20 06:35:31 PM  
I wonder why only a quarter of these mistakes are preventable ?
2006-07-20 06:36:53 PM  
dbaggins that's how many nurses & doctors that are able to understand why it's a mistake and why they shouldn't do it. the other 3/4 are too over worked or too high on themselves to care if it's a mistake
2006-07-20 06:39:13 PM  
I lost all faith in University of Michigan's hospital a month or so ago. My boyfriend's mother was rushed there by plane, as U of M is one of about 5 hospitals in the US that specializes in her disease, which is very serious. So you'd think that a big, prestigious hospital like that would have her severe allergy to fish written down somewhere.

They brought her salmon for dinner the night we were visiting.
And this was after I'd spent the night before consoling my distraught boyfriend, saying things like "Don't worry, she's at U of M, she's in good hands..."
2006-07-20 06:40:55 PM  
dbaggins Was the report written in a hospital? I'm guessing it's a lot closer to 100% than you'd think. A big one I would bet is the administration of drugs to a passed-out victim that cannot be roused, who has allergies, but no medic-alert bracelet.
2006-07-20 06:41:45 PM  
I'm guessing that most of the accidents are probably more the fault of the patient. lying about drug use etc.
2006-07-20 06:42:39 PM  
everybody makes mistakes.
2006-07-20 06:43:03 PM  
2006-07-20 06:43:23 PM  
I remember when my grandmother was in the hospital, recovering from a heart attack, she called my mom at like 10pm, to ask why she was being prepped for surgery. Turns out there was another patient in the hospital with a similar name -- same last name, and his was "Ray" and hers was "Rae." Never mind the whole him/her thing, different floors, different illnesses, etc... Had they done the surgery, she probably would have died.

That story has always stuck with me... scares the hell out of me.
2006-07-20 06:44:49 PM  
ixnay_ethay_upidstay are you in the medical proffession because so far all I hear is excuses. Yes everyone makes mistakes, but there's no excuse when you're farking with someone elses life.
2006-07-20 06:45:33 PM  
That's because there are no doctors.
Do you ever wonder why they write down your syptoms and then leave for 20 minutes to an hour and a half before your diagnoses? It's because it takes them that long to look up the symptoms on the wikipedia site to get a clue what illness you may have, and then to call up the pharmaceutical database to find out the largest number of the highest priced prescriptions they can write to treat it.
2006-07-20 06:45:36 PM  
I miss the thread about the lipstick on the cat's hole. I also loved what Farkers have done as practical jokes on neighbors. I laughed so hard.
When was the last funny thread?
I feel like it's been so long.
2006-07-20 06:47:18 PM  
Can someone please define a medication error? I work in a hospital, and technically, if I order someones IV drip down from 125ml/hr to 100ml/hr at 8am, and it doesn't get done till 9am. That's an error, but it sure won't kill anyone. Or, if I order a generic and the pharmacy gives the brand name, or vice versus is that a medical error?

Regardless, medical errors happen everyday, we're human and nobody is perfect. The best way to prevent an error on the medication side is to ask questions and be informed as to whats going on. Know what you're taking and why, and what adverse effects are normal and which ones aren't. Get educated as to why the doc's doing what he's doing! I had a pt sent for a surgical consult, I asked him why he was there and his reply was, "I don't know, you're suppossed to tell me?" Don't be that guy.

And a great way to get the sharpie to last longer is to swab the skin with alcohol before using the sharpie... opens the pores a little more and gets rid of the oil.
2006-07-20 06:47:35 PM  
I like to go into our Bed System under a fake user and move people around.

Like putting them in the Psych Unit, HAHAHAHA....

/keed? maybe
2006-07-20 06:47:37 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

Did someone say 'Medical malpractice suit'?
2006-07-20 06:47:40 PM  
C'mon folks - let's not be so hard on these doctors - they are counting all the kickbacks from the pharma companies to worry about such things...

/free market medicine strikes again
2006-07-20 06:48:03 PM  
I've spent some time in the hospital with loved ones. Either hire a full-time nurse or watch the staff like a hawk. Nurses F-Up daily is about right. It's no joke.
2006-07-20 06:50:03 PM  
"You owe me a new keyboard" is just fark for "lol" at this point.

Hell, "lol" might even be LESS cliche.
2006-07-20 06:50:34 PM  
This does not surprise me. When my wife was in the hospital I overheard the nurses making a mistake in dosage. A tenfold mistake. When I chimed in to correct them they frowned, then cheerfully said, "oh yeah!"
2006-07-20 06:50:44 PM  
My wife is a nurse, and I would judge her a VERY good one. She is kind and considerate to her patients needs, even the ones who treat her like shes beneath them, or there as a maid-servant - and I can TOTALLY see how this article can be true.

Her floor for a typical evening shift should have 3 nurses and 2 nurses-aides. She is PRN which means she is not a full time nurse and is used by the hospital to fill in "gaps" in their coverage.

Typcially they are LUCKY to have 1 aide
Quite frequently they have none, so now the three nurses are also responsible for food delivery, bathroom trips and getting ice and water etc etc.
A least one shift in three she goes in and there are only 2 nurses - so instead of 6-7 patients she now has 10-11 - same problems with the aides are likely to still be in effect.
On more than one occassion she has gone in to work when called on short notice and been the ONLY nurse from that hospital on the floor for the evening - the other being a contract nurse who may never have set foot in that hospital before - in otherwords as a part time employee she is not in charge.

Throw in that when patients are transferred onto or off of the floor this is a pile of paperwork the size of a refigerator box to do and its no wonder that even $30/hr is not enough to entice many nurses back to floor nursing. They would rather work for 1/2 that in a doctors office than be subjected to floor nursing again.
2006-07-20 06:51:56 PM  
merreborn i agree, plus lol is lazier, and I'm all about the lazy
2006-07-20 06:52:07 PM  
No joke at all. My wife to be miscarried back in april and we had to go to the ER. Total freaking joke. Waited to long to test the blood, it coagulated. Took more blood. Nurse said they'd need a tissue swab, so she needed to undress and get ready, she'd be back in "a few minutes". Twenty later I told her she may as well get dressed again, TWO HOURS later a different nurse came and we explained what had happened. The nurse that "forgot" about us was the head nurse. Great. What should have taken at most 4 hours consisted of waiting and waiting for doctors and nurses that never came, ended up being there for 11 hours. 40 minutes at tops of that was there ever anybody in the room. Nobody even came by to see how we were doing or update us. 4 hours of that one of those periods. Crazy how poor the care is, yet so expensive.
2006-07-20 06:52:12 PM  
Ugh. I read about this shiat all the time in my line of work. It motivates me to stay healthy and never enter a hospital (as much as I can control that, at least). On the upside, I also read about a lot of meaningful patient safety initiatives in both hospitals and ambulatory care centers all over the world.
2006-07-20 06:52:46 PM  
Most folks in the medical profession are drug addicts, too.
They are mostly addicted to Demerol, Vicodon, and other opiates, (I can tell when they are high, as I know alot of people who are addicted to opiates).
They also like methamphetamine type drugs, and diazepam.
That's where the mistakes creep in.
2006-07-20 06:55:43 PM  
They also like methamphetamine type drugs, and diazepam.
That's where the mistakes creep in.

At least they can beat Sniper Wolf without much difficulty.
2006-07-20 06:56:15 PM  
As someone going through treatment for cancer, here's my advice.

Be prepared to manage your own care. Know what you should be getting for your specific condition and...

Ask questions. Lots. What is that? What dose? Are there any side effects? If your provider doesn't like questions or tries to administer something without your consent, say no.

If you are being treated for something complex you will often see different specialists. Sometimes these specialists don't confer adequately and may prescribe conflicting treatments. Ask more questions, don't be afraid to tell the doc what you know.

If you are out of commision, mentally or physically, have someone act in your stead in this regard. Make sure they know what you know in terms of your condition and care. Download a Health Care Proxy form from the web and take it with you, everywhere. I also recommend a Living Will for those who undergo surgery.

Always have a copy of as much of your medical file/test results/prescription slips etc with you at all times. Don't give anything up unless they are making a copy.

Be in constant contact with your insurance provider. Make sure any procedure, test, etc., is authorized in advance and that they have scheduled the test to take place at the correct facility you and your Dr. chose. My insurance company calls this a "pre-certification number."

Do your research. Many docs know that patients will check out the web before they undergo treatment. Some docs are pissed off by this...if you have one of these, get a new doc.

See help/advice from others with your condition. This is invaluable.

and finally, if undergoing surgery, use the Sharpie. It sounds stupid but some docs are even doing it themselves with the patient beforehand.
2006-07-20 06:57:43 PM  
Kaustic s0da: Most folks in the med prof are NOT drug addicts. A lot of drug addicts are in the med proffesion. But not the other way around. I'm sure the resident who's been on for 30 hours looks nice and cheery, speaks coherently, and never yawns.
2006-07-20 06:59:07 PM  
It would be surprising if there was only one error each day. Nonetheless, that does not mean that medical negligence occurred.

In most states, a finding of medical negligence requires the sworn testimony of a reelevant, appropriate medical expert (e.g., a board certified orthopaedist testifying against a defendant who is board certified orthopaedist) that:

1. All of the medical records and other relevant evidence have been examined; and

2. The standard of care required to be provided was ______________________; and

3. The care provided failed to meet the requisite standard; and

4. The sub-standard care proximately caused an injury.

Many errors are within the zone of care under the relevant circumstances and most errors do not cause an injury. Many injuries that result from the errors are so minor as to be regarded as inconsequential.

OK. Now, everybody PANIC!
2006-07-20 06:59:35 PM  
I know of one doctor's office that has figured out a simple method for error reduction.

The several doctors, and PAs, all have small audio recorders. After they have been with a patient, they record a synopsis, in front of the patient, and with the patient able to interject if they hear an error. Though they may meet with a patient for 15 minutes, the synopsis is usually under 30 seconds--very brief.

Then, at the end of the day, their secretary spends 20 minutes transcribing the audio by patient record, with some helpful software, and the Doctor or PA listens to his tape while he's reading the transcript as a final check. It resulted in a big drop in errors for all concerned.

Everybody enunciating very carefully when recording helps too, a skill they all quickly learned.

Since most hospitals are now very WIFI, I expect that in the future, personnel will have something like "com" badges, so that when they enter a patient's room, they can push a button on the badge and say what they are doing, and it will be recorded on a central data device at the nurses station, along with an automatic time stamp.

When next the doctor visits the patient, he can push a button and hear everything that has taken place with their patient in, say, the last 24 hours. Like listening to very brief messages on a telephone answering machine, one after the other.
2006-07-20 07:00:21 PM  
Fizpez: Exactamundo

Understaffed, overworked people are going to make mistakes whether or not they are life threatening. You get used to life/death situations if you face them reguarly people. If you want to blame someone, blame hospital administrators for not providing enough competent people per shift to ensure quality service for all patients.

On second thought, maybe you should at least partially blame uninsured farktards who show up to the emergency room for common ailments, recieve care, don't pay the bill and cost the hospital thousands of dollars. This causes the adminsitrators to scale back on staffing, etc and lowers the quality of care for paying patients... not to mention adding to the general apathy of the workers there. This is a huge issue in Phoenix, where I live.

/not in medical field
/as a patient you must ALWAYS be your own advocate
2006-07-20 07:01:12 PM  
Der Poopflinger Actually, I'm a locksmith, but that's besides the point.

The point is if people didn't make the mistake of falling down the stairs, smoking, doing drugs, kissing sick people, drinking, driving, eating, breeding etc. in the first place they wouldn't need a hospital would they?
2006-07-20 07:01:23 PM  
kaustic s0da: Most folks in the medical profession are drug addicts, too.They are mostly addicted to Demerol, Vicodon--

[image from too old to be available]
2006-07-20 07:05:26 PM  
My wife is a nurse, and so is my sister. I get to hear all the horror stories. Believe me, you don't want to know.
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