Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide

Hospital Negligence Archives

Prefilled syringes could prevent medication errors

Anesthesiologists in Oregon may be less likely to make medication mistakes if they use prefilled syringes. Some hospitals are switching to prefilled syringes as a way to save time, money and improve patient safety. At Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, for example, prefilled ephedrine and neostigmine syringes are used.

The use of prefilled syringes in hospitals

Oregon patients might be interested to learn that some hospitals around the country are switching to the use of prefilled syringes over vials of medication in hospital operating rooms. At Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, the syringes are in use in the inpatient areas as well. The hospital's director of pharmacy, business and finance reports that the prefilled syringes have cut down on the workload for nurses and saved money. At Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, some ORs are hoping prefilled syringes will save money and cut down on costs.

Opioid use may be cause of many "dead in bed" cases

Hospital patients in Oregon who are prescribed opioid painkillers may be at risk for serious injuries. Opioids can significantly suppress a patient's respiratory system, which can the brain of oxygen. Some medical experts believe that fatal medication errors involving opioids are contributing to the increasing number of 'dead in bed" wrongful death lawsuits.

Parents sue over slow removal of swallowed button battery

Oregon parents of young children may be aware of the dangers of button batteries. Shaped like small coins, they can be easily swallowed by toddlers, causing permanent injuries or death. According to the National Capital Poison Center, button batteries were swallowed by over 1,900 children in 2015, and 20 of these incidents caused the deaths or serious injuries of children under the age of 6.

Strategies for reducing medical error rates

Oregon residents might know that heart disease and cancer are among top causes of death in the nation. However, they might be surprised that they are closely followed on the list by medical mistakes. There are various settings in which errors could occur, and another surprising fact is that physicians' offices are most likely to be the locations at which medical errors occur. With the rates at such high levels, it is important to consider the best strategies for reducing these numbers.

How patient errors may impact Washington residents

Between January 2013 and July 2015, the Patient Safety Organization of the ERCI Institute received reports of 7,613 wrong-patient events. Those reports were sent voluntarily by 181 different health care facilities during that time. However, it is believed that these figures may be only a fraction of the number of errors that actually take place. According to research done into the matter, patients may be misidentified at anytime and by anyone.

Using electronic patient records to reduce medical errors

Oregon residents should be concerned that communication between health care professionals regarding a patient's condition can significantly affect the chances of recovery. When one doctor's shift has ended and another doctor is responsible for a patient's care, pertinent issues regarding the patient have to be discussed. However, it is easy for such information to be overlooked.

Possible hepatitis B exposure for dialysis patients

Oregon dialysis patients may have heard about a facility in their neighboring state where people might have been exposed to hepatitis B. In May, public health officials in Seattle were notified by a hospital that discovered staff were not screening and isolating patients according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some hospitals lack adequate policies for never events

Some Oregon residents may have heard of medical mistakes such as operating on the wrong patient or leaving a surgical tool inside a patient. Dubbed "never events" because they should never happen, a total of 29 of these types of errors have been identified. Medicare and other health plans may pay a lower reimbursement to hospitals where some types of never events happen. The Leapfrog Group has released a report stating that 20 percent of reporting hospitals around the country do not conform to its policies for preventing never events.

Hospital staff may become desensitized to medical alarms

The sound of a car alarm going off may have sent Oregon residents rushing to their windows or reaching for their phones to call the police when the technology was first introduced a few decades ago, but the sounds made by these security systems have become so ubiquitous that they now largely go ignored. This may be the case with hospital alarms as well. A Johns Hopkins University researcher has found that doctors and nurses may hear as many as 100 alarms during a single hospital shift, and she believes that patients may be in danger when their care providers become desensitized to the sound of medical alerts.


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