South Carolina residents have probably heard horror stories about surgeons operating on the wrong patient or body part. Seven years ago, mandatory rules were enacted in order to help prevent wrong-site surgeries. However, current data indicates that this problem has not yet been solved. Wrong-site surgeries occur every week in U.S. hospitals and clinics. In 2010, 93 cases were reported.
A recent study highlights the ill effects that the 25 million Americans with limited English proficiency uniquely suffer when they seek medical help.
CT scans should be handled with care because of the radiation involved. In fact, in many cases they shouldn't be done at all - especially full-body scans on apparently healthy people with no indicators of health problems.
The data about the frequency of medical errors keeps accumulating. One recent study found that one out of every three people admitted to hospitals sustains injuries from factors unrelated to the condition for which the patient was hospitalized.
When applied to medicine, technology can be a blessing - or a curse. Under the principle of "first, do no harm," potential curses should be recognized so that proper precautions can be taken against medical malpractice.
For far too long, hospitals have resisted the use of simple checklists designed to prevent infections and other medical errors. At last, however, the resistance is beginning to fade.