Avoidable Medical Errors a Danger to Patients, Doctors and Hospitals
Side note: California is taking steps to deal with so-called ‘never events’ at the state’s hospitals. A particular problem is accidentally leaving surgical instruments and materials inside a patient after completion of surgery. In an effort to reduce the number of these errors, California has been fining hospitals for their mistakes, collecting nearly $300,000 in fines since 2007. The state will be using $800,000 of this money for research to help hospitals improve their practices so that they can avoid this type of medical error.
Though a medical malpractice lawsuit is not automatic when these types of errors occur, it is important for physicians and surgical teams to know how to avoid them. The research being funded in California is an important step – leading, perhaps, to new procedures that can help avoid medical error, malpractice claims, and the spiraling medmal insurance premiums surgeons and other specialists often face.
Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Drill bits, screws, sponges, clamps, needles, catheters, electrodes. These are some of the things accidentally left inside patients after surgery at California hospitals.