Top Tech Threats, Part II

| Feb 9, 2011 | Medical Malpractice

In our previous post, we discussed the five leading threats from misused medical technology that put patients at risk of medical malpractice.

Those five threats were by no means an exclusive list, however. It is also important to be aware of the next five dangers on the list compiled by the ECRI Institute.

The sixth issue from the ECRI list is luer connections. These are the connections that join hospital tubes. It is possible that the tubes may end up misconnected or malfunction, which might prevent the patient from receiving necessary medication.

Next on the list is patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) painkillers. With these painkillers, preset dosages are supplied to patients to administer to themselves as needed. Machines may not administer the correct dosage to a patient, which may potentially cause an overdose.

Needle sticks or other injuries from sharp objects come next on this year’s list. Even with proper handling procedures in place, these accidents still happen at a very frequent rate. This could potentially cause infections to be spread to medical professionals or patients.

Surgical fires rate ninth on the ECRI list. Fires in oxygen-rich operating rooms can prove catastrophic. These fires are actually quite common in hospitals, making it important to follow proper procedures to prevent fires from occurring in the operating room.

The final danger on the ECRI top 10 list is a defibrillator that fails during an emergency. This is extremely troubling because these items are only relied upon in situations which are life-threatening. Any failure could cause patients to die due to faulty equipment.