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wrong site surgery cases

Wrong-Site Surgeries Increase

wrong site surgery cases

Wrong-Site Surgeries Increase in Number

Imagine that you’re a patient going in for routine surgery. Now imagine that you’re one of 40 U.S. patients a week who awakens from anesthesia only to find that your surgeon has operated on the wrong site. Say for example, your right leg instead of your left leg. What would you do? Sue your doctor? The hospital? A surprising report from The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies healthcare organizations in the United States, finds that the problem of wrong-site surgery has worsened, not improved. More and more medical patients are waking up to find that their doctors made an error in a common surgical procedure.

According to Kaiser Health News, wrong-site surgeries continue to occur on a regular basis. This comes years after the president of The Joint Commission introduced mandatory rules aimed at preventing surgeons from performing procedures on the wrong site. The study found that wrong-site surgery occurs an estimated 40 times a week in U.S. hospitals and clinics. However, according to the commission, which encouraged surgeons to submit cases of error, only 93 cases were reported in 2010.

According to the commission, reporting of such incidents is voluntary and confidential. This policy is in place to encourage doctors and hospitals to come forward . Aside from the commission, the laws in about half the states, do not require reporting.

Despite campaigns to encourage surgeons to participate in a timeout at the start of every surgery, where each surgical team takes a moment to verify the procedure to be performed, the article posits that the mistakes may be explained by the increased time pressures surgeons face. Because reporting is not required by many states, the number of estimated wrong-site surgeries could be a gross underestimation.

Interestingly, a smaller percentage of wrong-site procedures are litigated in medical malpractice suits than one might think. Settlements in these cases are substantially lower than those where the wrong-site patient seeks representation.

According to a 2010 study, which reviewed 132 wrong-site cases, about one-third of procedures resulted in death or serious injury. Despite these horrific outcomes, the average compensation to victims was approximately $80,000 in cases that resulted in a lawsuit and $47,000 in cases settled without legal action. As incidents of wrong-site surgery continue to increase, patients and their advocates should continue to press for more accountability from their hospitals and their doctors.

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Personal Injury law

Be Wary of Carbon Monoxide Levels During Winter

Personal Injury law
If you live in cooler climes, winter is a time to take precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning. Residents of the northern parts of the country are starting to seal up their homes to keep them warm over the winter, which can increase the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Rates of injury and death are highest in the winter and among residents of the Midwest and Northeast United States. To minimize risk, it is important to understand the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it in your home and other sealed locations like your car and garage. .

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that you cannot see, smell, hear, taste or feel. Without detection equipment, your first clue that carbon monoxide is present may be symptoms of poisoning in yourself or a loved one. Many household appliances produce carbon monoxide, including oil- and gas-burning furnaces, portable generators and charcoal grills.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A person with carbon monoxide poisoning may exhibit flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

Pets as well as humans can exhibit these symptoms. If anyone in your home shows these signs, it is important to immediately:

  • Provide fresh air, either by leaving the premises or opening all doors and windows
  • Put distance between the victim and the likely source of the carbon monoxide
  • Call 911 and state that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Get medical attention for the victim
  • Have your home inspected before returning (your local fire department or police department should be able to help with this)

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide can easily be fatal if untreated, especially among children and the elderly,. Increase your family peace of mind by taking the following steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install CO detectors outside every bedroom and in the basement or where your oil or gas-powered appliances are.
  • Get regular service for appliances that use oil or gas.
  • Do not use appliances to heat your home that are not built for that purpose, such as portable camping stoves, lanterns, charcoal grills or your oven.
  • Never sleep in a room heated by a gas or kerosene space heater.

Taking these simple steps can keep your family safe from CO poisoning throughout the winter months.

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