10 shocking medical mistakes

surgical errorsCNN posted a list of 10 shocking medical mistakes. These included:
1. Mistake: Treating the wrong patient
2. Mistake: Surgical souvenirs/retained instruments and sponges
3. Mistake: Lost patients/wandered off the grounds of the hospital or nursing home
4. Mistake: Fake doctors
5. Mistake: The ER waiting game/delays in treatment
6. Mistake: Air bubbles in blood
7. Mistake: Operating on the wrong body part
8. Mistake: Infection infestation/hospital acquired infections
9. Mistake: Lookalike tubes
10. Mistake: Waking up during surgery

Here are shocking nursing mistakes that I have seen.

1. The hospitalized patient who was alert, oriented, and ambulatory until the nurse administered an inappropriate dose of Morphine, resulting in a serious overdose;
2. The emergency department patient who developed quadriplegia after the nurse removed the cervical collar without an order and without the spine being cleared of fractures;
3. The unsupervised nursing home resident on a pureed diet who choked on deli meat he grabbed off another resident’s tray;
4. The critical care sitter who sexually assaulted a patient;
5. The paraplegic receiving supplemental nutrition via a nasogastric feeding tube who experienced an aspiration event and died because the RN programmed the feeding pump incorrectly, resulting in the infusion of an excessive amount of feeding over a short period of time;
6. The unsupervised emergency department psychiatric patient who jumped off the roof of the hospital while waiting to be admitted to a psychiatric unit;
7. The medical surgical patient who rolled off the bed while the sheets were being changed because the nurse did not put the side rail up;
8. The patient who fell off the operating room table because the nurse did not apply safety straps;
9. The man who jumped through a window because the nurse did not recognize the need to start one to one supervision
10. The nursing home patient scalded in a bathtub;
11. The pediatric patient who went into respiratory distress and whose home care nurse asked his father to come home instead of following directions to call 911;
12. The surgical patient who fractured a hip after being dropped by a nursing assistant, who did not report the incident

Have you handled a shocking case? What was the shocking mistake?
Patricia Iyer is president of Med League.

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