The Patient's Guide to Preventing Medical Errors

The Patient's Guide to Preventing Medical Errors

The Patient's Guide to Preventing Medical Errors

The Patient's Guide to Preventing Medical Errors

Synopsis

"The nation watched in horror as 17-year-old Jessica Santillian died needlessly after a heart-lung transplant in 2003. She had been given organs with the wrong blood type. That error killed her. This is just one among tens of thousands of less publicized errors that occur in U. S. hospitals each year. Author Karin Janine Berntsen, a veteran of the hospital and health care industry, takes us through the headlines, and the events never publicized, into hospital wards and surgical rooms to see how errors are made causing disability or death. She gives graphic examples of actual events that illustrate the problems cited in a federal Institute of Medicine report revealing medical errors in the hospital cause 44,000 to 98,000 deaths each year. There is, says Berntsen, an urgent need to pause and take inventory, a need for clinicians and consumers to come together as partners for change." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

It is natural to feel apprehensive when facing a surgical procedure or entering a hospital to receive treatment for a newly diagnosed illness. Although a bit nervous, people assume that they will be safe. That assumption is wrong. A startling report revealed that it is far safer to fly on a commercial airliner than to be a patient in a hospital. In fact, receiving health care services is considered as dangerous as mountain climbing or bungee jumping.

The extensive report, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in Washington, D.C., states that up to 98,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors in U.S. hospitals. This is equivalent to 268 fatalities a day, or the loss of a fully loaded 767 airliner. Numerous others suffer from injuries while hospitalized, ranging from minor falls to permanent disability. The IOM report reveals that over half of these deaths and injuries are preventable.

Medical errors need to be significantly decreased. The “error factor” occurring in health care systems is complex, multifactorial, and challenging to solve. Faulty systems that lead to patient injury and death should be identified and new, safer systems designed. However, changes in these intricate systems will happen more effectively and rapidly only with the involvement of health care consumers. There is a need for a professional-public partnership to be forged in order to work together for solutions. If patients can learn about health care . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.