Monthly Archives: October 2017

What Are Never Events?

Medical errors are considered one of the leading causes of death in the US. Depending on who you ask, these errors kill an estimated 250,000 to 440,000 patients in US hospitals each year. Some medical errors are worse than others. A “never event” is a term that refers to a specific type of medical mistake that should never occur and that may have serious consequences for patients. Never events may refer to a medication errors, surgical mistakes or errors that occur while health care practitioners are caring for patients. The National Quality Forum (NQF) has a list of never events that it maintains. Never events on the list include: Wrong-site surgeries: This type of error may occur when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body. For example, a surgeon may remove the wrong body part. Wrong-patient surgeries: This is where a surgeon performs a procedure on the…
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NTSB Report Claims Hoboken Train Engineer Was Not Tested for Sleep Apnea

A new report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows that NJ Transit did not test the engineer involved in the Hoboken train crash for obstructive sleep apnea. In September 2016, a commuter train crashed into the wall at Hoboken Terminal. More than 100 people were injured and one person was killed. The engineer tested positive for sleep apnea shortly after the train crash. According to NTSB documents, there is nothing to suggest the engineer had been tested for the common disorder since 2015. NJ Transit claims it requires train engineers to undergo sleep apnea screening. The NTSB’s report suggests NJ Transit did not follow its own policy. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. Sufferers of this condition can experience intense daytime drowsiness. In some cases, a person with undiagnosed sleep apnea can even nod off…
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Can Medical Mistakes Cause Psychological Injuries?

Medical mistakes are notorious for causing physical injuries or even death, but they can also leave victims psychologically scarred for life. Victims of medical mistakes can also develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This debilitating mental health disorder can arise after experiencing a traumatic event, hence the name. Anesthesia awareness is a great example of how a medical mistake can cause PTSD. Patients who experience anesthesia awareness are awake during surgery but unable to move. In some cases, they can even feel the procedure. Although anesthesia awareness is not always caused by a medical mistake, but it can occur if a patient does not receive a high enough dosage of an anesthetic during general anesthesia. It may also occur if hospital staff miss important information on a patient’s medical history. Unsurprisingly, many people who experience this condition develop PTSD. What is PTSD? Any medical mistake can result in PTSD if the…
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