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What’s a medical error? Part 1

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What’s a medical error? Part 1

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staff I was talking to my son and his girlfriend about medical errors and he asked me to define them. Here are some cases we have handled.

  • the hospitalized patient who was alert, oriented, and ambulatory until the nurse administered an inappropriate dose of Morphine, resulting in a serious overdose;
  • the emergency department patient who developed quadriplegia after the nurse removed the cervical collar without an order and without the spine being cleared;
  • the unsupervised nursing home resident on a pureed diet who choked on deli meat he grabbed off another resident’s tray;
  • the newborn infant delivered by vacuum extraction who experienced signs of respiratory distress that went unnoticed by the nursery staff until the infant experienced a respiratory arrest and expired due to complications from a brain hemorrhage;
  • the critical care sitter who sexually assaulted a patient;
  • the intubated patient who pulled out his endotracheal tube because the nurse did not restrain his hands and he could not be re-intubated;
  • 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;
  • the unsupervised emergency department psychiatric patient who jumped off the roof of the hospital while waiting to be admitted to a psychiatric unit;
  • 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;
  • the surgical patient who developed compartment syndrome and nerve damage because the surgery shredded the popliteal artery in his knee and the nurses did not perform neurovascular checks

It is a dangerous world. See Part 2 for more examples.

Med League is a legal nurse consulting firm that assists attorneys handling cases involving medical negligence, personal injury and other litigation with medical issues at stake. Med League nurses have expertise in analyzing medical records for inconsistencies and abnormalities. Contact us for a deep medical analysis of your case.

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