The San Francisco Gate wrote a story today about one doctor’s call for improved safety measures following a medical error that affected him personally. Dr. Jose Gonzalez’s 18 month old niece was brought to a local hospital after a fall left a bump on her head. The facility conducted an MRI on the young girl to check for any problems. However, the girl’s breathing tube became dislodged during the procedure, resulting in severe brain damage.
As the doctor discovered afterwards, and our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are well aware, these sorts of preventable medical errors occur with startling frequency across the country. Nearly 100,000 patients are killed each year due to these medical mistakes.
However, even with these staggering numbers, little is done to stem the tide. In many states it is still not even required that hospitals report when errors occur. Because of the growing problem, Dr. Gonzalez and other patients’ safety advocates are working to raise awareness of the issue. Specifically, the doctor is trying to spread knowledge of safety systems that can be implemented at hospitals to improve patient well-being.
Many “best practices” systems are used in certain hospitals that are found to drastically lower the harm to patients from medical errors. However, it is often a challenge getting hospital to adopt those best practices. The practices advocated are often simple, check-list style operations that help medical care providers cover their bases and catch potential mistakes before they cause real harm. In the case of the Dr Gonzalez’s niece, if certain checks had been performed on the girl during the procedure at clear intervals, than the dislodged tube would likely have been discovered sooner.
Please Click Here to read more about efforts to improve patient safety and catch medical mistakes before they cause damage.