According to some statistics, only heart disease and cancer claim the lives of more Americans than medical errors, but Maryland patients may still be shocked to learn the details of some disturbing medical malpractice cases. A man having the wrong leg amputated is the punchline of several jokes, but this actually happened to a Florida man in 1995. The hospital and surgeon involved eventually paid the man more than a million dollars for their mistake.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins who have published a study in BMJ, there are approximately 200,000 deaths per year as a result of medical errors. Calculations were based on 35 million hospital admissions, and if they are accurate, this would mean that medical errors are one of the three top causes of death in the United States.
Maryland residents may aware of how the field of robotics is moving from repetitive task machines to artificial intelligence. While robots have long been used in manufacturing and other industries, they are now being combined with complex computer software to make life-and-death decisions. Today, artificial intelligence is being used to develop driverless cars and surgical tools.
Many Maryland patients have been the unfortunate recipients of wrong-site surgeries and other types of surgical errors over the years. A recent case in New England has focused attention on this important issue.
An innovative device that has been designed to record surgeries has been developed by researchers at a Canadian university. The purpose of the technology is to collect specific data during procedures in an effort to identify errors so that operative teams can observe what actions precipitate mistakes and modify their methods in order to prevent future mishaps. The recordings could also be useful as evidence in medical malpractice cases in courtrooms in Maryland and around the country.
Maryland residents may be interested in an article in the journal "JAMA Surgery" that examined major surgical errors in American hospitals. Called "never events" because they are never supposed to occur, these incidents happen in rare circumstances. The researchers in this study looked at surgical fires, wrong-site surgery and the incidence of objects such as sponges being left in a patient after surgery.
Maryland surgical patients may take interest in a Mayo Clinic research study that examined the causes of 'never events," a term that is used to describe surgical mistakes that should never happen. Among 1.5 million invasive procedures performed over a five-year span at the Minnesota clinic, 69 never events were identified. Researchers determined that these never events were caused by 628 distinct human factors and that roughly four to nine human factors contributed to each surgical error.
Maryland residents might be interested in a medical malpractice claim that was filed by Melissa Rivers, daughter of the late comedian Joan Rivers. On Jan. 26, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the doctors and clinic that treated her mother shortly before she passed away on Sept. 4. According to the claim, doctors at an endoscopy clinic in New York failed to recognize that Rivers had stopped breathing during what should have been a routine procedure.