North Carolina Medical Malpractice?: Study of 10 Local Hospitals Reveal Failure to Decrease Hospital Mistakes

December 6, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, efforts to lower the number of medical errors made in US hospitals have generally failed. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers examined the practices conducted at 10 North Carolina hospitals between 2002 and 2007. They chose the hospitals for their aggressive and progressive handling of medical mistakes.

Out of 2,341 medical records that were evaluated, there were 588 incidents reported involving harms caused by hospitals to patients, including:

• Prescription errors
• Infections
• Wrong diagnosis
• Procedure mistakes
• Hospital falls

63% of the medical mistakes were considered preventable. 2.4% played a factor in causing a resident’s death. 8.5% of medical mistakes caused injuries that were life-threatening.

During the time period examined, the rate of medical errors went down at the hospitals by about 1%. Researchers say that the lack of improvement in these hospitals is an indicator that nationally more should be done to prevent medical mistakes. Currently, many US hospitals have reportedly been slow to implement certain lifesaving measures, including:

• A comprehensive electronic medical record system
• Enforcement of hand washing and other simple procedures
• Ensuring that nurses and doctors-in-training are not overworked

Charlotte, North Carolina Medical Malpractice
Medical mistakes can cause serious injuries and health issues for patients. If a hospital error was preventable or caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or another medical professional, you may have grounds for a North Carolina medical malpractice case.

Other common medical mistakes:
• Surgical errors
• Failure to check patient’s vitals
• Failure to obtain informed consent
• Anesthesia mistakes
• Nursing negligence
• Delayed diagnosis
• Wrong site surgery
• Birthing errors
• Failure to provide proper postoperative care

Despite Efforts, Study Finds No Decline in Medical Errors, Business Week, November 24, 2010

Medical Injuries Harm 18% of Hospital Patients in N.C., Researchers Find, Bloomberg, November 24, 2010


Related Web Resources:

The New England Journal of Medicine

Medical Malpractice, Nolo

North Carolina Hospitals

 
 

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