Wisconsin residents may be interested in an incident involving a 39-year-old woman who suffered from internal burns and permanent injuries after a routine gynecological exam went wrong. While performing a procedure known as a colposcopy, a doctor at Paragon Health in Summit County, Ohio, mistakenly sprayed potassium hydroxide into her vagina, thinking it was vinegar. After realizing what he had done, the doctor then attempted to irrigate the area with saline solution before applying a pain cream with an ungloved finger.
Wisconsin residents might not be aware that one of the most frequently reported medical errors is a tool or other object being left inside a patient after surgery. According to the alert by the Joint Commission, these objects are sometimes hard to detect, and some patients have suffered pain, infection and other medical problems until the object is finally removed, usually via another surgery. Something as simple as a forgotten surgical sponge can lead to debilitating health problems or even death. The cost to patients and hospitals is considerable.
Wisconsin residents who seek medical attention could end worse off than they started. Individuals may be concerned to hear about how rampant waste is in the medical industry, how many people die as a result of medical malpractice and how frequently those mistakes are made. One of the reasons for the incredible cost of seeing a doctor or undergoing a medical procedure may be due to how much money is misused. According to a 2011 Institute of Medicine study, $765 billion is wasted on things like unnecessary treatments and fraud.
Appleton, Wisconsin residents may have been among those following the story of a 57-year-old woman who checked into a San Francisco hospital for a bladder infection and then vanished. The woman's body was found after 18 days in a little-used stairwell at the hospital, which left her family and friends angrily wondering if negligence tantamount to medical malpractice was to blame in her death.
Veterans in Wisconsin might be interested to hear that the American Society of Anesthesiologists is against a proposed changed to the Veterans Health Administration guidelines. They are calling the new draft ill-conceived and state that it would jeopardize patient safety.
A disturbing trend in cardiac medicine affects many people nationwide, including those in Wisconsin. Inserting stents into stable patients has become common, yet stents, while undoubtedly lifesaving in the case of heart attacks, may, in fact, be harmful to many patients. Bloomberg News reports that cardiac stents were associated with 773 deaths in 2012, a number that is 71 percent higher than it was in 2008.
People in Wisconsin might be curious to hear about how many people died because of medical mistakes in United States hospitals each year. However, pinpointing the number of deaths caused by medical errors is difficult. It seems that each time new research regarding the issue is released the numbers get worse.
Medication errors are by far the most common mistakes hospitals make and they can be deadly. Experts believe that about one million medication errors happen every year, resulting in about 7,000 fatalities. These numbers could fall considerably if hospitals would update their technology.
Wisconsin residents scheduled to undergo surgery may be troubled by the findings in a report published by the British Medical Journal, or BMJ. Researchers found that one in four operating room errors were caused by issues with technology or problems with equipment. The report went on to note that these errors, and the subsequent claims of medical malpractice, could be cut in half if hospitals used equipment checklists before beginning an operation.