Some of the most inexcusable medical errors happen a lot more frequently than we would like to think, according to researchers from the Denver Health Medical Center. We’re talking about things as simple as performing surgery on the correct body part, or even worse, the correct patient.
Researchers looked at cases in Colorado over a 6-year time period and found that during that time span, doctors in Colorado alone operated on the wrong patient at least 25 times and on the wrong part of the body in another 107 patients. These serious errors were considerably higher than previous estimates for wrong-patient or wrong-site procedures. The lead researcher, Philip Stahel, M.D., called these “a catastrophe”.
The catastrophic errors highlighted by this study “a lot more common than the public thinks,” says Dr. Martin Makary, M.D., a professor of surgery and public health at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
Overall, from the errors cited in the study, one-third of the mistakes led to long-term negative consequences for the patient. One patient even died of lung complications after an internist inserted a chest tube in the wrong side of his body.
Our firm has successfully handled wrong-patient and wrong-site procedures. If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of inexcusable medical error feel free to contact us.