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May 2013 Archives

Medical Errors Require Apologizing to Patients

Doctors who prescribe medications to Boston, Massachusetts patients and fail to review their chart for any medical issues risk causing an adverse reaction. Greater care for patients is needed to ensure medical choices do not cause harm. The doctor prescribing the medication should take responsibility for their actions regardless of whether or not patients sufficiently recover. However, many practitioners often choose to follow outdated protocols.

Surgical errors increase when doctors are distracted

The quality of care that Massachusetts residents receive when they go to a hospital for a surgical procedure may depend on how many distractions are present in the operating room. Surgical rooms are not always quiet and interruption-free. Medical machinery often makes sounds, medical professionals are not always able to turn off communication devices and some surgeons listen to music while operating. This is of concern because recent studies suggest that the more distractions doctors have to deal with, the more likely they are to make surgical errors.

Newborn care standards for at-home births

Massachusetts residents might be interested to hear that planned at-home births should also follow newborn care standards just like in-hospital ones do. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy, planned at-home delivery babies should receive the same level of care as those born in birthing centers or hospitals. The academy also advises that there should be pre-established arrangements for newborns to be transported to hospitals if need be during such birthings. The AAP also states that planned at-home births should have certified midwives or physicians present.

Medical malpractice claim doomed for using wrong mail carrier

Massachusetts residents considering filing malpractice claims might be interested to hear that a woman in another state's medical malpractice claim may possibly be doomed because it arrived one day after the two-year statute of limitations expired. Although the La Porte, Indiana, woman mailed her paperwork one day before the deadline, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it still is not considered timely since it was not mailed via certified or registered mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

Doctor inadvertently removes wrong kidney

As an area with many prestigious hospitals, Boston residents may be interested to hear about an incident that occurred at a prestigious hospital in another state. A surgeon for Mount Sinai Hospital recently operated on a 76-year-old man who had been on dialysis due to the fact that both of his kidneys were diseased, he was due to have one of them removed. During the operation, the surgeon removed the incorrect kidney.

Medical errors can have life altering consequences

When a loved one is admitted to the hospital for surgery or illness, you never expect that they will receive the wrong treatment, or contract a more serious illness. A doctor from the Massachusetts area admitted that he performed the wrong type of surgery on his patient. After surgery, going over the woman's release form, he realized this and performed the correct surgery the same day. A more serious surgical error occurred when brain surgery was preformed on the wrong side of a patient's brain.

When medical errors occur, everyone loses

Massachusetts readers may be interested to know that there are many protocols in hospitals to prevent mistakes such as wrong sided surgery or medication errors. However, when a surgical error or other medical errors cause death or serious injury, patients can feel as if they have been denied the expectation of safety and well being.

New film discusses changes in death experience

A Newton, Massachusetts, doctor is engaged in a new project: making a film to help families understand options for patients with dementia. While this not necessarily a new topic, this doctor felt it was important for families to understand dialogue with each other, the terminal patient and doctors in order to avoid the problems caused by misdiagnosis and failure to communicate. While the subject of a dignified death has been discussed in many formats, the new film explores the problems associated with dementia patients in particular and outlines options for family members when a loved one receives this diagnosis. Particularly, the doctor hopes that his film will point out the amount of unwanted care and intervention that is given to patients every day in hospitals and amounts to what could be considered malpractice if patients and family members were aware of the needlessness and ineffectiveness of these treatments.

Hospitals make more money from mistakes

A surprising study done by several well-known organizations has discovered that hospitals benefit financially when patients do not receive proper care when they go in for surgery. The researchers discovered that when hospitals made errors that required patients to need more care and longer stays, insurance companies paid for it. This could mean that if hospitals in Massachusetts make surgical errors, they may end up profiting from them.The study looked at over 34,000 patients who underwent surgery in 2010 and found that nearly 6 percent of of those patients had one or more complications that were avoidable. Their median stay was extended to 14 days, and the hospital took in more than $30,000 from these patients on average. While researchers emphasize that they do not believe hospitals and medical professionals are making mistakes on purpose to make more money, there is a financial disincentive to improve patient care.