For parents of newborns, few things are scarier than SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It's the leading cause of death in babies. Parents can reduce the risk by following the safe-sleep guidelines and other protective measures recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, because SIDS ultimately can't be explained or predicted, there's no way to completely prevent it.
Massachusetts residents who are considering knee replacement surgery may be interested to know that an error occurred during this procedure at San Coronado Hospital in California on April 2012 due to a vendor rep taking the wrong box off a shelf. The patient then had to have a second knee surgery to correct the placement of the wrong tibial joint. The facts reported stated that a representative for the manufacturer of replacement knee joints was the person who retrieved the box with the wrong joint in it and gave it to the surgeon during the surgery. Unfortunately, incidents like this are not uncommon. This error was reported in a recently prepared database that has been created by the Association of Health Care Journalists. This database contains 8,000 violations of federal safety regulations that have occurred since January 2011. This particular case is an extreme example of surgical errors. This action violated practices of the Association of perioperative Register Nurses, and it should be a cause of concern for surgeons and medical consumers alike. There was no lawsuit against the hospital involved, and they are now investigating their protocols for vendor representatives involved in procedures.
The failure of hospital staff to respond to alarms from medical devices contributes to many patient deaths. A Boston Globe investigative report linked over 200 hospital patient deaths between January 2005 June 2010 to problems with alarms on machines that monitor patients' vital signs.