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Personal Injury Law: Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Half of All Deaths in Hospital Could Have Been Handled Differently
By Jamie G. Goldstein
A Canadian study from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority examined the records of hospital patients in the city in an attempt to see how hospital acquired infections could be reduced and patient transfers could be improved. The study uncovered 17 common themes associated with about 44 percent of patient deaths that included blood poisoning and 'procedural complications.' Some patients were reported to have died after being transferred too many times or being forced to wait too long before receiving treatment.
The group looked at charts of 2,893 patients over the course of a year to look for indicators that care could have been improved. 894 cases were found to need further review of the level of care administered. These included infections acquired during treatment like pneumonia, problems with diagnosis, and wrong doses of medication. As a result, groups have been assembled to look at the results through a wide lens in order to pinpoint recurring incidences of substandard care. By looking broadly at these incidents, hopefully a pattern will emerge that will enable system-wide reform. Preventing these deaths can't be accomplished by looking at the deaths as isolated incidents when they are really part of a larger problem.
Although this study was done in Canada, the United States has similar problems with preventable deaths and medical mistakes. Over the past 18 months, two infants at Seattle Children's hospital passed away after being given the wrong medication. This has spurred the hospital to publicly declare its mission to 'strive for zero errors' in the future. Shouldn't all hospitals already have made this commitment? More hospitals need to increase their focus on eliminating these mistakes entirely instead of accepting them as inevitable.Originally posted at InjuryBoard by Jamie G. Goldstein
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