nursing education reform

A New Generation of Nurses Will Require Clinical Teachings to Lessen Medical Error Rates 

We carry no doubt that America’s nurses have devoted years to their education in the classroom by experienced instructors lecturing on how to identify illnesses, symptoms and diseases. And they are learning about how different treatments and medications can be used in case studies and textbooks authored by advanced clinical researchers. But unfortunately, most of these nurses will never acquire much situational teaching in clinical settings or practice the application of their learnings before starting their career. This is resulting in poor judgement calls on behalf of patients, and ultimately more malpractice lawsuits.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN):

breathing tubes

Breathing Tube Removal Mistakes Can Be Deadly for Hospital Patients 

During sedation or illness, many hospital patients may require breathing assistance through intubation. The device used in this procedure is called an endotracheal tube (ET) which is placed through a patient’s mouth and then into the airway so that a breath can be delivered when used with a ventilator. The sensitive intervention can be especially necessary for patients with respiratory failure in both hospital intensive care units (ICU) and pediatric intensive care units (PICU).

Unplanned extubation (UE) is the uncontrolled and dangerous removal of this life-sustaining breathing tube. Sometimes the removal is self-induced by a patient, but healthcare providers also make deadly mistakes during the repair of a tube, suctioning, weighing, or replacing a ventilator circuit. Sadly, UE is a complication that occurs in more than 121,000 adult patients every year in the U.S. and kills 33,000 American adults, as noted in a recent article published in MedPage Today, authored by Art Kanowitz, MD, FACEP.

medication injuries

FDA Issues Boxed Warning for Popular Insomnia Drugs 

Insomnia is a common complaint in hospitalized patients and elderly residents of nursing homes. The sleep condition is characterized by an imbalance of a person being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, or a general decline in sleep quality. Insomnia is a common condition that The Better Sleep Council’s studies say nearly 50 percent of patients report having. In the same survey, elderly patients, such as those that live in nursing homes, experience unique sleep disturbances, including:

  • 21 percent reported new-onset insomnia

medical malpractice

 Neil Armstrong’s Secret “Hush” Money Settlement as Reported by The New York Times

Five years ago, at Mercy Health – Fairfield, a community hospital located in Cincinnati, retired American astronaut Neil Armstrong underwent a heart surgery with a fatal outcome. On July 23, 2019, around the same time media outlets celebrated the American astronaut’s 50th-anniversary moon walk, The New York Times published a story stating that after Mr. Armstrong died, his family threatened legal action against the hospital believing medical negligence was the cause. Armstrong’s two sons pointed blame at incompetent post-surgical care for taking their father’s life. The medical dispute was followed by a 2014 secret settlement – worth millions.

Legal documents (some now publicly available), along with a pleading personal note from the anonymous sender, was sent anonymously to The New York Times in 2019. The paperwork showed the hospital privately paid the Armstrong family $6 million to settle the family’s dispute over his cause of death and avoid the public shaming of the hospital’s wrongdoing. Several medical reports and analysis of when and how any medical mistakes impacted Mr. Armstrong’s death were also discovered, in which hospital officials used the pseudonym “Ned Anderson” for Mr. Armstrong after being fearful of any publicity surrounding his wrongful death.

medical malpractice attorneys

Miscommunication Among Hospital Staff Can Lead to Serious Patient Infections 

Researchers from the University of Michigan investigated infections caused by catheters (urethral or suprapubic) showing that the devices may cause unnecessary infections to patients due to poor communication of health care professionals. The findings were first published in the July 2019 volume of the American Journal of Critical Care, mimicking what previous studies have said and agreeing that when catheters remain in too long, infection is more likely to follow.

Indwelling catheters are a type of catheter commonly used in both hospital and long-term care settings as a urinary assistance device that collects urine from the bladder and disposes of it through a drainage bag. A nurse, or another trained healthcare provider, is the person responsible for performing a safe catheter insertion or removal through the urethra or sometimes through a tiny hole in the abdomen.

medical errors

13 Ways to Protect Yourself from Medical Errors 

A newly released study highlighted the striking rise in preventable medical errors of more than 300,000 adult patients was published on July 17, 2019 in the medical journal, The BMJ. The data collected represented 1 in 10 patients harmed in the course of their medical care, half of which were preventable.

The study found:

medical malpractice

Cardiologist Burnout Can Cause Deadly Medical Mistakes 

The American College of Cardiology’s third Professional Life Survey spoke volumes regarding the number of American cardiologists experiencing burnout. The survey data released in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and completed by 2,313 cardiologists showed 27 percent of those surveyed report being overworked and exhausted to the point of burnout. Consequently, nearly 50 percent said they were under stress and working with less energy in their work environments.

  • Burnout appears to peak among mid-career cardiologists with 8 to 21 years in practice, compared with fellows in training, early-career, and late-career cardiologists.

As Malpractice Laws Changes, Patient Safety Concerns Grow

The 12th edition of Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers is now open for review and examines the latest statistics, facts, and research concerning unsafe hospitals, preventable patient injuries, negligent clinicians, and medical errors. Authored by the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School (CJ&D) researchers say the 172-page volume includes over 500 linked footnotes and sources and was released at a time when laws are making it harder for patients and their families to place accountability on wrong-doing hospitals and incompetent physicians.

Briefing book statistics are shared for topics such as:

medical malpractice attorneys

Information About Sepsis Dangers and Sepsis-Associated Deaths in Hospital Settings 

When a person’s immune system becomes compromised, the body can respond in deadly ways, such as septicemia, a lethal condition more commonly known as – sepsis. A 2019 Critical Care Medicine investigative report confirmed that sepsis is highly present in hospitals and that it contributes significantly to patient deaths, some preventable. About one-third of people who develop sepsis will die from it, and as many as 65 percent of those people were being treated for another issue in a hospital setting at the time of their sepsis diagnosis.

Sepsis occurs when a person develops a bacterial infection in their bloodstream. It can happen to any patient, at any age. For those who survive, many will be left in a life-altering state and battle conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ dysfunction, brain and heart conditions, and disabling amputations. Family members and caregivers may also become exhausted and depressed due to the difficult recovery and therapies their loved one now requires. 

birth injury lawyers

New Survey Shows Women Deserve Better Treatment While in Labor 

After the review of a recent survey of American women, Giving Voice to Mothers (GVtM), conducted by both clinicians and researchers using World Health Organization frameworks, it is now known that one out of six women surveyed reported being mistreated while in labor.

Examples of their mistreatment included:

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