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July 2013 Archives

Medical malpractice study reveals troubling implications

Massachusetts residents may be interested to hear that a recent study found that many established medical practices are ineffective or, worse, damaging. The study found that while many practices are found to be effective, many practices have not held up to further study. These outdated practices are often hard to eradicate from medical practice, even after they are disproven.

Technology blamed for many surgery errors

Boston residents may be interested to find that in a study published on July 25, it was reported that technologically sophisticated equipment caused up to 25 percent of surgical errors. It showed that the typical operation involves 15 errors, with equipment failure found at fault in 24 percent of these. Studies conducted previously showed that from 13 to 16 percent of patients experienced medical errors, with half of these due to equipment failure.

Leukemia clinical trial halted after drug deaths

Boston readers may want to know that the pharmaceutical company Celgene stated on July 18th that it will halt a clinical trial for the leukemia drug lenalidomide, brand name, Revlimid. The decision came after early statistical analysis revealed a disproportionate number of deaths in the group treated with the drug as compared with another group being treated with another drug, chlorambucil. Of the 210 patients receiving lenalidomide, 34 died during the trial. In comparison, only 18 deaths were reported out of 211 patients taking chlorambucil.

Surgical errors that should never happen in Boston

According to Forbes Magazine, surgical errors happen more often than most people think. When admitted to a Boston hospital, patients can become victims of some medical malpractice events deemed so drastic that they have been labeled 'never events" because they simply shouldn't happen.

Woman gains consciousness while doctors prepare to remove organs

Massachusetts residents might be interested to hear about a woman who became conscious as doctors were getting ready to remove her organs and donate them. The woman had been believed to be dead. Doctors had believed she had undergone cardiopulmonary arrest and had irreversible brain damage.

Many medical errors not reported

Hospital mistakes and medical errors have become an issue for Massachusetts residents again after several high profile cases have ended in health care providers being fined for compliance issues. One incident in particular involved a woman who had been declared brain dead, even though doctors never completed necessary tests to verify this. Even worse, in spite of a nurse reporting that the woman was breathing without a ventilator and responded to a reflex test, doctors went ahead with plans to harvest the woman's organs. The only thing that saved the woman's life was her opening her eyes on the operating table.

Greater risks associated with emergency gallbladder surgery

Massachusetts residents who undergo emergency gallbladder surgeries face greater risks than those who have planned surgeries. Researchers discovered that older males were more likely to have problems as a result of a surgery. Additionally, undergoing a gallbladder surgery after 7 p.m. increased a patient's risk of complications from the procedure, likely due to the fact that 90 percent of gallbladder surgeries performed after this time were emergency procedures.

C SAFE device may reduce fetal lacerations in C-sections

Massachusetts parents-to-be may be interested to hear about a new technology designed to make C-sections safer for newborns. The technology, called C SAFE, is expected to reduce the number of fetal lacerations, a typical birth injury that occurs during C-sections.

Proper communication can avoid anesthesia errors

Massachusetts residents who go to the hospital for surgery or any other type of medical treatment may often feel nervous and stressed. Patients have the desire to feel confident in their doctors and the hospital, and they may assume that the staff will not make any errors. That is not always the case, however, and physicians and hospital staff sometimes make errors that cause serious injuries or even death.